Socks for Japan 日本語

Jason’s speech  Jason’s two-year remembrance op-ed

Socks for Japan is no longer active, but we keep this site the way it appeared during our operation so that survivors, donors, and volunteers can look back at how the world helped us help Japan. We are so grateful.

Letters from Survivors | Letters to Survivors | Volunteer | Email List

Here’s a way you can help Japan, directly and meaningfully. There are many places to donate money, and that’s a wonderful thing to do, but direct aid is cherished by survivors because it shows them that you personally care. My office location is perfect for a direct-aid operation — close enough to the damage zone that we can physically get there to help, but far enough that mail delivery is working.


  • Send only new socks. All human beings are comforted by a fresh, clean pair of socks. Other advantages socks offer this operation: they’re light, their sizes are easy, they don’t break, people need lots of them in disastrous times away from home, and people can keep them forever to remember that somebody from far away cared. Please do not send any other items of clothing, food, etc. Just socks, but go ahead and choose nice ones that will brighten somebody’s day. You might receive a discount by showing our letter to your local store manager.
  • Put each pair in a sealed plastic bag. Want your socks to find needy feet asap? So do we! Please speed up our processing by taking socks out of bulk packaging, removing clasps or ties binding them together, and putting each pair in its own sealed clear plastic bag. Waterproof bags, such as Ziploc brand, are useful to people without homes. They serve a dual purpose: delivering socks in good shape, and providing a way for people to keep items dry.
  • Enclose a care letter. Japanese people treasure letters, especially ones from foreigners. Survivors of the 1995 Hanshin quake in Kobe said that care letters were among the most uplifting items they received. So, please enclose a copy of your letter with each pair of socks in a plastic bag. For help composing and translating your letter, see our care letter creation page.

    Image of steps to a perfect package
  • Label, compress, and seal. You should now have a pair of socks and your care letter in each plastic bag. One more helpful item: a label. Either write on the outside of the bag or insert into each bag a piece of paper identifying one of these categories: man, woman, boy, girl, baby. (We no longer need any socks for children.) Once that’s done, squeeze out excess air to make the bag as small as possible, then seal it shut. This preparation will make our inventory management and distribution a cinch!
  • Write your email address noticeably on the package. The most efficient way for us to keep in touch with you, and track the status of your package once we receive it, is via your email address. Please write it on the outside of your package so we can communicate with you without opening the package.
  • Write “Urgent: Relief Supplies” boldly on the package. This will avoid import duties, guarantee priority handling at customs, and achieve rapid processing through hubs. Packages are arriving more quickly than usual. Everybody is dedicated to getting this nation back on its feet — in clean socks!

Please ship your package to my office:

Jason Kelly
Plaza Kei 101
Wakamatsu-cho 615-6
Sano, Tochigi 327-0846

EMAIL: PHONE: +81 501-014-7773

Thank you for your support! When your package arrives, we’ll send a note to you at the email address you wrote on it.



Several reasons. Many of the survivors ended up barefoot after fleeing in a hurry. In the disaster zone, feet get wet and then extra cold at night, especially in currently freezing weather. People often forget about socks in favor of more obvious items like blankets and jackets. Receiving a new, fresh pair of socks provides a moment of comfort. If those socks arrive with a caring note as well, it’s very heartening for survivors. If you’ve ever been stuck in a pair of wet, cold socks or no socks at all, perhaps you remember how soothing it felt to pull on a warm, dry pair. Survivors have already requested socks on TV news.

Socks aren’t primary support, but a token of care that will last beyond their small mid-crisis comfort. All supplies exist here in Japan, so we wanted something that delivered meaning past the need of the moment, something more special than what people get from emergency teams and government supplies. Military socks are not the most comfortable. Small joys matter. A March 17 CNN article observed about the survivors: “It was the little things that helped them retain their sanity as an end to crisis still seemed distant.” The next day, an AP story said a city hall worker reported his town needing “gas, vegetables, socks, underwear, wet wipes and anti-bacterial lotion.” Most importantly, shelters themselves are requesting socks.

Good ones! Demand is in this proportion: 50 percent women, 50 percent men. We no longer need any socks for children or babies. Everybody prefers color over white because white gets dirty quickly in shelters. Focus on quality, not quantity. The number of people donating takes care of quantity. Make your socks and letters count for the individual survivors receiving them. We’d much rather receive 50 gorgeous pairs of socks properly packaged one-pair-per-sealed-bag with a wonderful letter, than 500 pairs of low-quality, white socks completely unprepared without letters.

No. Despite the image created by ninja movies, most Japanese socks are of the regular variety. The split-toe, called tabi, is seen most commonly as a carpenter or construction worker boot, called jika-tabi. Regular socks are fine.

People love to see a photo of who sent their socks and letter, so include one if you can. A popular way is by printing your photo directly onto your letter. Another way is to print your photo and glue it to your letter, if it’s handwritten. For help with the message and translation, see our care letter creation page.

From the United States, the Postal Service is the most economical, and its one-week delivery time is fine for the extended operation under way. People are shipping every day, so we’re receiving a steady supply of new socks. There’s no need to pay extra to get yours here quickly. Japan’s country price group is 3. Packages sent via First-Class Mail International cost $10.76 for one pound, $17.64 for two, $24.52 for three, and $31.40 for four. One donor wrote: “Priority Mail flat-rate shipping is per box, so if you box each size and gender separately, you will be paying a LOT more than if you bag them separately and then put the bags into one box.”

From Jiun: “Airfreight cost is calculated by actual weight or dimensional weight (WxLxH/5000), which means the tighter you compress/pack your socks the cheaper they will be to send. Vacuum bags are the best way to compress socks. A 20cm x 20cm x 20cm box of socks might weigh only 2.2 lbs, but its dimensional weight is 3.5 lbs.”

Other tips: from Canada use the Canada Post calculator to find what’s best or try Greyhound and Takkyubin per Joanne’s suggestion, from China use eBay for free shipping, from Malaysia use FedEx or POS Malaysia, more to come


Then we’ll gratefully accept and put every penny toward taking socks and letters to survivors as quickly as possible. Please see our donation page.

Yes, but please read our volunteer info page.

Not unless you think I go through a lot of socks.

We already did. This concern is left over from when we first began, on March 13, just after the March 11 disaster. For fun, we’re leaving the answer here: Yes. We have plenty of people and plenty of space. We’re using my office, and borrowed a nearby vacant accounting office as well. Socks and letters are small. When taken out of boxes and put in compressible bags, socks can be packed into ordinary vehicles by the thousands. Here’s the accounting office, prior to our moving in:

Front of Yamaguchi accounting office

Want to witness the major transformation of that quiet office into our sock processing supercenter powered by volunteers? See Angels of the Earth.

In Phase I, we distributed twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays. In our current Phase II, we distribute less frequently and at a slower pace to spend time with survivors. You can see our schedule on the volunteer info page.

Yes. Even after we stop distributing socks, we’ll visit survivors and follow up with the ones featured in our reports. To stay informed, please join our list.


  1. Posted February 19, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    MOTHER “E”,i wasn’t aware my posts today came across as angry. that was not my intent. it can be tough sometimes to grasp what people are feeling with the written word, i guess thats why they invented the little emoticon guys.as far as my dad’s death, that was over 6 years ago and i am well over it. i was only pointing out that i felt wait times may have cut his life shorter than it had to be.anyway, sorry if you thought i was coming across as angry, i was far from it and in quite a good mood when posting, just as i am now

  2. Sam
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason,
    I’d like to do a presentation for school on your Socks for Japan project. Would it be okay if I included some of the photos from your site and credited you? Thanks.

    • Posted May 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      By all means, Sam. Please send whatever materials you have my way. I’d love to see your presentation.

      Good luck,

  3. Jennie and Ross
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    We remain most grateful for your incredible work during the crisis, but I am a little confused, are you still distributing socks, or has your great work ended? If you are still distributing then we will send more.

    Awaiting your confirmation,

    Jennie and Ross Anderson

    • Posted April 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jennie and Ross,

      Thank you for the support! Our final distribution was on March 11, 2012, the one-year anniversary. I have yet to post a report about that trip, but will do so.

      The journey is not over, though. We’re planning an online memorial of the project that lists the names of all donors and volunteers, summarizes lessons we learned with a tipsheet for future volunteer aid operations, and so on. I’ll send a link to everybody when it’s ready.

      Thank you, again!

      • jennie and ross
        Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jason,
        What a wonderful idea.
        You and your team have done an amazing job.
        Through your kindness we have been able to express support for the survivors, we will never forget your initiative Jason, you are a very special soul.

  4. Mell
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life. ~Author Unknown

    Thank you and your team for the kindness and dedication given to the wonderful people of Japan.
    God Bless,
    Mell, USA

    • Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      You’re most welcome, Mell, and thank you and all the other donors who sustained this effort.

  5. pablo giron
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Jason

    Several months ago I send a package containing socks collected from my students and families at Oyster-Adams bilingual school in Washington DC. USA. I also include in each package a letter for the great people of Japan. I have no heard from you and would like to know if you received the package. Please let me know so i will follow up with the post office since I send the package registered.



  6. Liv
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Jason!

    I’m really glad this project is still going strong! Anyway, on May 16 or 17 this year, I sent you a pair of socks from the Philippines but I never did get a confirmation letter for that. Did you get it fine? Anyhow, I’m thinking it’s about time I ought to send some fresh pairs over…

    Hope to hear back from you soon!

  7. Rebeca Reachi Lugo
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason!,
    Hope you`re fine.
    I sent you from Mexico some socks, I had health problems…. but finally my boyfriend sent the box, did you got it? I dont know if my e mail was in the box. Please tell me.
    My best regards

  8. Claudia
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello Jason….
    I´m a professional knitter and only use high quality of (handdyed) yarn. Also i have some knitters around me who would love to knit for your project.
    If handmade socks are welcome, please let me know the sizes you need. I read in your post above that you only want socks for adults. We knit all sizes!!!
    We´d love to help again.
    Sunny greetings from bavaria

  9. Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Jason, I sent 1,241 pairs of socks in the Spring in 3 different boxes from my students at the high school I teach at (Tenoroc Sr., in Lakeland, FL), and haven’t heard back.. have you received them? We had 3 major news stations do a story along with the local papers, and hopefully that bought additional socks as well. If you could let me know, I’d be much obliged. 🙂 Thanks!


    • Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Will do, Shing. We’re making our way through the last confirmations this week before Phase II cranks up.

      More soon,

  10. Laura W.
    Posted June 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Okay so I have a bunch of socks and we had, had a drive before the sixteenth, but there were some packing issues that threw us off the deadline. Is there anyway I could send them to you? I could have them ready by June 25th to send. If not, could I send them in a few months or so. There are about 250 socks.

    • Posted July 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      No problem, Laura. We’re still accepting socks that were prepared ahead of time, so please ship them whenever you’d like. We’ll sort and prepare them for Phase II this autumn. Thank you for helping!

  11. Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I received a message today from a 6th grader in Miyagi who received one of the socks I sent yesterday. She used to live in Watari-Cho, Miyagi, which is right next to the sea. She says their house, which her father and grandfather built, is no longer there. She lives in her relative’s house right now. She lost her grandparents and her 13 year old cousin in tsunami.
    She said she received the socks at school. By the time I sent in my boxes, you have already asked to stop getting kids’ socks because most kids have moved out of shelters. I guess you guys are now having to go to schools to make sure all the socks for children will be distributed.
    I’m really grateful that you are making every effort to make each and every pair of socks count.
    I also received an email from you today saying you have received and distributed my box of socks.
    The amount of work you go through is unbelievable. I really can’t thank you enough for doing this. This was the very first message I received, and it made me feel SOOOOOOOOOO good!!
    Thank you!!!!

  12. Maryam Naddaf
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    We are a daycare centre in Burnaby, BC, Canada and we sent about 70 socks your way about a month ago along with notes and drawings from our children. We’re wondering if you’ve received our socks yet?
    thank you!

  13. esther
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Hi!Jason.I just posted 15 pairs of sock from Malaysia on 27 April.I wondered whether did the parcel has been safely received?I’m looking forward for your confirmation.thanks alot.=)

  14. Deanna
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I really wish I would have seen this before the deadline. I wanted to help. But it’s after May 16th so I’m out of luck.
    Are you going to be doing something similar to this again?

    • Posted May 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      We’re still accepting socks gathered prior to the deadline, but are discouraging new multi-thousand-pair gathering efforts, such as school sock drives and church announcements, this late in the schedule. Anybody who’s gathered and properly prepared socks for us should ship them asap. See our guidelines. Thanks for wanting to help, Deanna!

  15. kylie
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I sent a box of socks from Australia in early April, then I sent a further box in late April from my work followed by a final one last week. I haven’t heard of aany of them arriving yet? The first one I can understand as my husband wrote the address in his traditional hard to read capital letters, but the other one I am more concerned about, as I included a business card as well.
    And, if you mysteriously receive a box next year because it has been doing the rounds of the post offices, sorry

    • kylie
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      PS- I used to live in Iwaki, so was very sad that my socks didn’t get there in time for your trip- one of my favourite activities was to bike to Shinmaicho lighthouse and beach for an afternoon- pretty difficult to see that area so badly devastated. Thanks for all the work!

  16. Joanne
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason, and his wonderful crew….

    I just wanted to say that the best way to send socks from Canada is by shipping the box by Greyhound to the nearest Takyubin office. Greyhound bus costs about24.95 minimum and is SO much cheaper than Canada Post as is the Takkyubin post. The Takkyubin part from Vancouver cost us 69.95. This was a $100 cheaper! They have offices in Toronto and Vancouver – here is the link: http://www.yamatoamerica.com/e/parcel/canada.php

    All the best and thank you (and bless you) for all of your efforts.


  17. Karen Hendrickson
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Hello, Jason.
    Thanks so much for doing what you are doing! My students (I teach Japanese) have collected some socks; I’ll be sending them Wednesday morning, since they didn’t finish packing them up until this afternoon. I’ll be in Japan from June 19 – July 2, doing some volunteer work in Kesennuma and Iwate, where I have friends. I am also taking a student, who will be staying for two weeks near Ashikaga (Our sister school, Hakuoh, is there). As I was addressing the package I saw that you are headquartered in Sano, just down the road. My student was hoping to do some volunteer work too, but I can’t take him to Miyagi and Iwate; do you anticipate needing help with anything even beyond your final distribution? Reyne is an amazing guy…and a rower with beefy strength, which I am sure he’d be happy to lend to you, as long as volunteering didn’t interfere with his study at Hakuoh. Please let me know if you might have need for his help. Also, I put my cell number in the box. Call me if you need help in Miyagi and Iwate. Thanks! Karen

  18. Frankie Browing
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Hey Jason,

    What an incredible thing you are doing. I am part of a small school district in Eastern Washington. Our school just finished raising 535 pairs of adult socks. The bad news is that shipping cost was not calculate into the fundraiser. We are desperately trying to come up with the money to get the socks to Japan. According to your update site, we are going to miss the deadline for mailing. Is it too late? What do you think we should do? Please try to get back to me as soon as you are able. Thanks so much.

    Frankie Browning

    • Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I sent a note to you about this, Frankie. We’ll be able to accept your socks shipped after the deadline.

  19. Maria Stefani
    Posted May 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey.. Have you got the package of socks I send around last month?? Thxx

    • Posted May 16, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Probably, but we’re behind in emailing confirmations. We’re catching up fairly quickly, though, so you and others waiting should receive a note from us soon. Thank you for helping us out!

      • Maria Stefani
        Posted May 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        ok cool.. 😀 were happy to help out… thx for organising this.. 😀

  20. Suvira
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    I’m very to trouble you. I sent 30 socks from the UK on the 26th April and wonder if they have been received. My e-mail address was on the package with the sender’s address.

    Thank you very much for everyone in you team and very best wishes,

    • Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Suvira! We’re catching up on email confirmations, but are still about two weeks behind. Sorry about that! So far, we haven’t missed a single package that we’ve been asked to track down, so the odds are good that yours arrived. We’ll get a note to you one of these days.

      • Suvira
        Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Thank you very much Jason 🙂 suvira

  21. JETAA Hawaii
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 5:15 am | Permalink


    Just wanted to let you know that we have sent 5 boxes your way. Good job with everything you are doing! You have been a great inspiration to all of us!

  22. Jamie
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I would like to check if you have indeed receive a EMS Parcel (waybill# EE453841136CN)? this contains a box of 300 pairs of childrens’ socks.

    Many thanks /jamie

  23. Kelli Couch
    Posted May 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    We are waiting on the translation of letters sent by Aaron Couch, Kelli Couch, Ellie Couch, Cartier Couch and Gabe Couch. I think it was a week or 2 ago that we all put them here in the Comment section. Should we just go ahead and send them without the letters? I hate to keep holding on to these socks when I know people need them over there…just wondering. Thankyou.

    • Kelli Couch
      Posted May 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      never mind….I’m a dolt and didn’t look on the “care letter creations page!”

  24. Rovenna Sandra
    Posted May 5, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Hi Kelly I’m not sure if our socks have physically arrive safely to your place. It was under tracking number 201556431521 via Skynet courier. Hope you have receive it already


  25. Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Princeton Insurance is sending 225 pairs of socks today. They are mostly men and womens, however, we do have childrens socks included. We collected them before we knew that you no longer needed them.

  26. Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Your webpage does not show up properly on my apple iphone – you may want to try and repair that.

    • Iphone Isnotagod
      Posted May 5, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Seriously? Get a life. Donate something to Japan for such an asinine comment.

  27. Julia
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


    The team at the Fukuoka Prefectural Education Center have just sent 219 socks. There are a few kids’ socks in there, sorry but mostly adults.

    Thanks for the amazing work that you’re doing.


  28. Jacquie Sivalingam
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason

    We posted 2 boxes of socks Apr 1 from Melbourne, Australia but till today we have not received any acknowledgement of socks being received. The Parcel tracker said it has since been delivered? Could you please advise?


  29. Heather
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason 🙂
    Just sent a medium sized pkg to you with about 130? or so pairs… unfortunately, I forgot to add my email address on the outside of the package. It was mailed today 4.26 from Fishersville (might say Waynesboro on the pkg) Virginia, US . Hope it reaches you soon!

    Thank you for your wonderful work!


  30. Amy Franks
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I just sent 56 pairs of socks from Marblehead, Massachusetts, with messages from the children and other members of Clifton Lutheran Church. Thank you for allowing us to participate, and thanks to Makiko for translating some of our notes. I’ve given many of our members the link to this website; it’s great that everything you are doing is so well documented, it helps everyone to see the direct, not to mention incredibly organized, impact that Socks for Japan is making.

    Last Sunday I had a display of all the socks and notes, and I think that I’m going to get more donations. I told people to only bring adult socks now, and preferably lighter weight ones. But how long do you think you’ll be carrying out this effort? Of course I’ll happily send more as they are given to me, and as long as the need is there.

  31. Patti Leppala
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Patti Leppala
    Nevada, USA

    Dear Friend,

  32. Lynn
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I’m writing on behalf of Tadika Diyana, a kindergarten in Malaysia. We wish to inform you that the children of our kindergarten have brought in approximately 2,000 pairs of socks, ranging from babies to adults (both genders) and we are now working on sorting out and would be sending it over to Japan at the soonest possible time. Meanwhile, WELL DONE!

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful news! Thank you, Lynn, for joining us. Please pass along our thanks and cheer to the children. Tell them a bunch of people in a faraway country are proud of what they’ve done, and a bunch of others are grateful.

      Any photos? We’d love to see some. Either send them to me at the email address above, or post them directly on our Facebook page. Again, thank you!

  33. Yvonne Sherrill
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting my sock packages together as soon as possible so I can start sending them to you. Have sock in Mens, Womens, Girls, Children, and Babies. I’m sending the babies anyway since I’d bought them.

  34. Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    I wanted to do a sock/fundraiser as the focus of my International Pilates Day event. Do you have any PR or marketing collateral you could share to help me promote it in the media and in flyers?

  35. Shing Woodall
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope you got the 1641 pairs I sent! 🙂 Socks for Japan was featured on the central Florida news channels… here is a link to one…
    http://www.baynews9.com/video?clip=http://static.baynews9.com/newsvideo/bn9/web_video/socksforjapan.f4v&vtitle=Students gathering clothing item to help out Japan

  36. Ken Slater
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I arrived here after reading a Reuters blogger post by Felix Salmon, (http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/14/dont-donate-money-to-japan/) who dismissed your work as a silly and wasteful idea from ‘some bright spark’. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. Thankfully, he also linked to your site and I clicked on it to see just how ridiculous these socks people were. With an image in my mind of well-meaning but out-of-touch Americans rounding up stray 28cm+ socks and sending them to Japan in disorganized heaps, I landed on Socks For Japan’s web-page. And weeped. And laughed. And was completely humbled. I read your whole blog (don’t tell my boss!), riveted to this unfolding epic of human compassion and love – spelled out in thousands of socks and letters. Thank you so much for conceiving of this simple but genius idea and carrying it out – despite those who would seek to discourage and pass judgment from the safety of their plush New York office. My wife and I live in Nagoya and have been supporting some small aid organizations. Sometimes it can be difficult to say whether donations are actually making it to the victims and are being used. There can be no question, however, thanks to your eloquent and moving blog, that people donating to your organization rest assured, knowing their compassion has been delivered by hand and well received. Great work! What are your plans from now?

    Ken S.

  37. Miko
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Should I send you socks?

  38. Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Great blog.Thanks for you published great article.anny

  39. Posted April 20, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,
    I organized some co workers and we collected about 200 pairs of socks, most of which have already been sent about 3-4 weeks ago via Canada Post, from Windsor Ontario Canada. When I went to send them the lady at the post office at first told me they could not deliver to Japan at the time, I urged her to double-check and so she did and found that although they were accepting packages, things were still quite up-in-the-air and to expect delays etc.

    I’m wondering if you may of received the package or not, as my e-mail address was written on the box (timonippon@gmail.com) but I haven’t heard anything – though I am sure everyone is very busy there. I’d like to send another shipment but want to make sure things are arriving properly from Canada Post first.

    Each pair contained a letter as follows, and was pre-sorted by gender and size:

    Attached Letter with each pair as follows:


    Keep up the absolutely amazing thing that you’re doing!
    With Warm regards from Canada,

  40. Laura W.
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I am doing a sock drive at my school and so we are going to have a lot of Hopeletters to be translated. How would I go about doing that? Any suggestions?


  41. Catherine Mussington
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason:
    Two boxes of socks (infants children, and adults) along with extra ziplog bags have been sent from the small village of Brooklin, Ontario Canada. Comes up to around 150 pairs. A third box will be sent probably after Easter. Each bag is noted in both English and Japanese with a happy letter already translated by a close friend. I can send you tracking details from Canada Post if needed, but figure it will take around 10 days.

    Keep up the great work.
    Catherine Mussington

  42. Maria Naito
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason
    Fantastic work you are doing. I was so touched by the detailed accounts you wrote about on your trip up north a few weeks ago.
    I live in Mito, Ibaraki, and just checked the link you gave to the satalite images and was shocked to see so many shelters near me. I thought I could help you distribute socks in this area , though maybe the need is greater further north?
    I clicked on each blue marker and it showed how many people were being housed in each shelter, though they all seem to be last “updated” on March 14th. Is there another more updated website showing shelters and numbers of people.
    I have a MPV that has lots of space. I could come to Sano in an hour and help however you feel is best, maybe head up somewhere north together, or I pick up some socks and distribute either in Mito or further up the coast in north Ibaraki. I do not mind driving up nearer Fukashima.
    Please let me know if I can help you here with transport/deliveries.
    Maria Naito

  43. Posted April 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    What a great initiative!! I send it further. Ofcourse I immediately went shopping and bought a nice couple of socks. Only thing is: won’t it soon be too warm for socks??
    In that case the letter is hopefully hope-giving.
    Thank you for letting us feel we can DO something!!! My thoughts and prayers are for Japan and its wonderfull people

    love, Jenny

  44. Mindy Chin
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    I thought about sending some zip lock bags along with the socks I’ll be shipping out soon.
    Do you need extra zip lock bags? If not, then I can get extra large plastic bags for you to put the socks in.

    Do let me know 🙂 Thanks.

    • Posted April 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Mindy! Yes, we can always use more press-seal bags. Tossing extras into your box will help.

  45. Mindy Chin
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Greetings fellow SFJ suppoters 🙂

    I recently received an email from a generous person who would like to contribute to SFJ. There was a misunderstanding between the two of us and I am not able to take her socks and ship them along with my contribution.

    I thought she my friend’s contact. Kristie had recently shipped 400 plus pairs of socks to SFJ. She told me that her friend wanted to send socks to Japan and will contact me. Soon after, I received an email from Erino.

    I only found out that Erino is actually from the States and not Malaysia when she gave me her contact number. I promised Erino that I will post a message her so that someone from her area will respond.

    If anyone from Santa Barbara is planning to ship socks to SFJ, please contact me and I’ll forward your contact info to Erino. Thank you so very much 🙂

  46. Amelia
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jason! I saw you & your team on ASIA 7 DAYS on NHK World! It’s amazing to see it from the news!!! Can’t help to think if I could spot my socks that I delivered haha! 😉

    Great work everyone!!! 😀 😀 😀

  47. Tracy Thompson
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Jason, ur site was sent to me by another organization NPO in Los Angeles.

    I am the LAX liaison for the Assoc. of Flight Attendants (AFA) with Hawaiian Airlines coordinating a donation drive, for the people of Japan with the Airline unions, All Nippon Air (ANA) and an organization called Airline Ambassadors (Airlineamb.org), a non profit organization, created by an American Airlines Flight Attendant, that works with agencies to fight human/child trafficking.

    If any of you would like to participate in this donation drive or know of any other individuals/chruch grps trying to get items to Japan, let them know I can get the donations to Japan. The items will be packaged a specific way and delivered to a drop off location for pick up by Airline Ambassadors to be delivered to ANA. I will take care of packing the items to ANA’s specifications and dropping off the packages to AA.
    Please do not donate money to this drive. If you feel monetary donations are more within your plan, please go to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or any other organization that is willing to accept checks or cash.
    I am collecting this week through the 13th of May. Then I will be getting the items packaged for transport. Below is a list of just some of the items requested. Any dry prepackaged non perishable food is good as well. ie. cup of soup/noodle, snacks, tofu, clean in good condition clothing. Once the items get to Haneda, United cargo will take them to their hanger. They will be distributed by Japanese based non-profit organizations.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
    All items may be dropped off at my home:

  48. Amy Franks
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Sorry. I put my request on the wrong page. I’ll post again on the care letter creation page.

  49. Amy Franks
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Hi. I have a note from someone from my church. It’s a bit long, but I thought it was a beautiful letter. If you could help me with translating it, I’d appreciate it.

    “We send this small gift so that you will know that we care and are saddened by all you have endured.

    I am reminded, as I write this, of a news segment I saw on television some days after the quake and tsunami. Rescuers had come across two struggling, wet and cold dogs. They were both shaking with cold and fright yet the uninjured dog had stayed with his friend and refused to leave his side.

    We have seen so many examples of the people of Japan thinking and caring for others even at risk to themselves. We have so much respect for your strength and courage.

    It is our hope that the rest of the world will stand by you and help wherever possible.”

    I have a shipment of about 60 pairs of socks that I will send soon. I can manage the Japanese for the other letters, thanks to all the wonderful translations you have already done for others. But I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me out with this one.

    Best wishes,

  50. Rose C
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Masters Connection. Since I don’t know how to cut and paste and whatever it takes to forward this request on to family and friends who would probably love to participate, it would help if you could make it possible for me to forward this request and other request to help Japan as an email. Maybe just email this page to me? If you do this than I could send it out to everyone in my address book and we could than get a whole lot of people particpating.

  51. Christina
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Is there any place/organization in New York collecting socks that they can send everything once?

  52. mizuki
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Today I sent total 20 pairs of socks from Los Angeles, includes 11 for girls, 5 for women, 2 for men, 2 for baby. These are from me and my friends in LA. All the letter inside are translated into Japanese.
    After I sent, I read your latest update about kid’s socks. I’m sorry that I already sent them, but it was a good news that most of kids are moved to safer place.

  53. Ellen
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    would pantyhose be considered ok under the socks umbrella ? While not strictly socks, I know first hand how good a couple of pairs of winter weight pantyhose can be for helping keep warm and there are some good stylish ones around. Would it be ok to send some pairs for women? Or at least some winter weight over the knee socks?

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      That would be OK, except that people are now looking for warmer-weather socks. Spring is here and summer is peeking around the corner, so the need for cold-weather socks is falling off rapidly. We’re still getting the ones we have out to shelters because a warm pair of socks is always nice at night, but we’re shifting the inventory towards summer.

  54. Tianah B
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    i need to translate this

    “I wish you the best. i am praying for your country’s reconstruction. i hope even this one pair of socks can help.”

    thank you for your help

    • Takako
      Posted April 16, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Hi Tianah,

      “I wish you the best. i am praying for your country’s reconstruction. i hope even this one pair of socks can help.”


      • Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Oops! Wrong page. No problem, but we don’t want people seeing the translation here and thinking this is the place to get it done. Please submit future notes for translation at our Care Letter Creation Page. Thank you for helping us, Tianah!

  55. Colin
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    こんにちは私の名前はコリン、私は15歳の時にアメリカ人の男の子午前です。私はあなたの国で起きている災害のすべての申し訳なく思っている。私はあなたとあなたの家族はすべてokですが願ってあなたの子供は、uがあればと、私は本当にあなたのものをお楽しみください!ている! :)

  56. Lindsey
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Do you accept hand knit socks?

  57. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Just sent your adress to a friend in Germany who organized a cake-selling even at his elementary school to collect money for the Fukushima (not only!) people. I hope you and strongly assume that you will hear from him.

    As for me – I will also spread the word and see what I can do!

  58. Lina
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason, DHL has just informed us that our parcels have been rejected from your side. Tracking number: 4990918170

    Kindly verify if it’s true. Thank you very much!

  59. Kyle
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    doesnt japan make all our socks?…

  60. Michael Wheeler
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    I am a youth pastor at a small country church in North Carolina. Our youth group dose a service project every month. For Apri – May we will be collecting socks, and we will take one evening to write letters and send to you guys. This is a really awesome way that we can actually help make a differnce and reach others in our world. Also, with the shipping instructions it gives us enough to do to make it a meaningful activity for the youth. I think this is a wonderful idea and you have the support of St. Mary’s Church Youth Group.

  61. Imma Gargiulo
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    “We are thinking of you and we are praying for you every day. Don’t give up.
    Imma Gargiulo from Italy”

  62. Pat Robinson
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I decided to donate money instead of socks. I learned of Socks for Japan through my daughter, who lives in Kyushu. In fact I just got back from visiting them. I was a little leary at first of traveling through Tokyo, but I want to reassure everyone that there was absolutely no problem in that respect. Kyushu is not affected by any aftershocks or other problems and I think they are well equipped to handle any people that might want to relocate there. It is a beautiful part of Japan. Good luck to everyone left picking up the pieces and trying to recover from this terrible tragedy.

  63. Rovenna Sandra
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Hi…luckily I managed to gather all my staff to participate in this campaign “Socks for Japan” the parcel is on the way to you Jason Kelly 🙂

  64. lyn5
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve e-mailed REI, Smartwool and Sierra Trading Post for discounts on socks and for sock donations. With Sierra Trading Post, I may get free shipping. Socks for Japan is such a great idea! Thank you for your hard work.

  65. cathy Aeria
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason,
    Seriously? How can anybody question whether you are qualified to do this or not… Geez!
    Jason I’m wondering if you have anyone from Australia (Victoria) sending socks already and does it have to be a certain amount of pairs or can it be sent by individuals with a couple of pairs?

    What a wonderful idea you have come up with. Well wishes to you for reaching out, Jason.

  66. Daryl & Caroline
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink


    We have sent our box containing 237 pairs of socks by Fedex from Brunei today! Thank you so much for despatching them all out.

    Daryl & Caroline Narcis

  67. valerie harris
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    …..such a Great Effort Jason and crew!!❥•.¸¸.•*¨`*• ツ❥•.¸¸
    – just donated to Socks for Japan –
    …hope to find some cute made in Australia socks to send over soon!!
    cheers, valerie, Perth Western Australia
    ❥•.¸¸.•*¨`*• ツ❥•.¸¸❥•.¸¸.•*¨`*• ツ❥•.¸¸❥•.¸¸.•*¨`*• ツ❥•.¸¸

  68. carol boepple
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    ‘…perfect love drives out all fear…” ~ 1 John 4:18

    Could someone please translate that for me?

    colelcted socks fromt he church and hospital office, not everyone of them has a care note so will place that instead, thanks


    Carol from Perth, Australia

  69. Shannon
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink
    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      That’s great! Thank-you to the students in Foxboro, and to you, Shannon, for sharing this link here. What a fabulous collection of donors keep us going strong!

  70. Maggie
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Japan has been supporting my sock obsession for decades, so it only seems right that I give back a bit. Will you guys take dog socks/boots too? I know disaster areas can be hard on dog feet and it’s been hard for people to take care of their pets.

  71. Posted April 12, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    so why does japanese people need sock?? so they don’t have any sock to wear?? or what does the sock is using for?

  72. Susan Dearth
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Please translate this message we wish to send with our socks.
    “We hope this small gift will help you through this challenging time and remind you of your many friends throughout the world. We also send our love and prayers.”

    Thank you.

    • Takako
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi Susan,

      “We hope this small gift will help you through this challenging time and remind you of your many friends throughout the world. We also send our love and prayers.”


    • Posted April 11, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Oops! Wrong page. No problem, but we don’t want people seeing the translation here and thinking this is the place to get it done. Please submit future notes for translation at our Care Letter Creation Page. Thank you for helping us, Susan!

  73. llison Fountain
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Just trying to figure out if you are still accepting sock donations. I heard that possibly you may have to stop accepting due to the shelters being moved out of and school starting. Please let me know as I am eagerly ready to start a sock drive on Monday and want to know where to send. Thanks a lot. And thanks for ALL of your heartfelt compassion for those who are in need.

    • Takako
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      For now, we are still accepting socks. There are places that still need them badly. We’ve been trying to put everyone’s help and love into distributing to victims as quickly and in as much volume as we can.

      We’ll end this project some day, but for now we still welcome your support. We’ll publish our ramp-down schedule on the site well before we close the donation window, so people can prepare accordingly.

      Thank you for your help!

  74. claudia
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    WOW i am froma middle school and we are going to try to get the whole school to send some socks with a letter.it doesnt sound like much but i know that the kids will love it

  75. Louise
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Packing our 80 pairs of socks tonight and will go out tomorrow – thanks for helping us to help our friends in Japan

  76. Pablo Giron
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Great, I will try to involve my Fifth graders to work on this project. I am so glad we can help.

  77. EGuillen
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    So Im on lunch @ work right now and just read about socks fo japan, I am so excited to send some socks. This is a bad situation that Japan is going thru but with the love and support from people and blessings from God, they will recoop…. Im sending my socks soon 😉

  78. Posted April 8, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Jason – we at AirPlus International love this idea so much that we’re donating 800 pairs – one for every attendee at the upcoming Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) conference in New York City! http://events.acte.org/ehome/index.php?eventid=17342

  79. Eikoh San
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for helping the people in the disaster area with what they really need. There is just one thing I would like Jason and people who visit this site to know about Japnese people’s FEET. Our feet are SMALL. To many people in Japan, regular Western adult size socks are too long. Especially, there are many elderly people in the disaster area and they are smaller than the younger and have smaller feet. And Japanese children also have much smaller size feet. I am sure people will be thankful for any new socks of any size, but have you heard any feedback from them about the size of the socks they need?

  80. Mindy Chin
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jason,

    Thank you so much for co-ordinating this. I’m in the midst of getting socks together to be shipped out to you. Question: Can I indicate the size of the socks instead of gender when I label them? Otherwise, can I indicate Adult, Child, Baby instead?

    Thank you.

    Mindy Chin

  81. Rose Richardson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I am sure there will be ongoing need. However do you have an end date for your campaign?

  82. Daryl & Caroline
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink


    I just checked again, they are 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18 cm.

    Hope that helps.


  83. Daryl & Caroline
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m trying to sort out our socks and we have various sizes categorized as S for ages 3-4, M got ages 5-6 and L for ages 7-8. Grateful if you could advise if I should put the age 3-4 under babies? And the rest under boys and girls? Would like to sort it out as best and convenient for your onward despatch. Thanks!

  84. Joanne
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone found a way to ship inexpensively from Canada (westcoast)? Just thought I’d ask…!

  85. Yukiko Ehara
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for organizing this wonderful project for survivors of disaster. I would like to put a suggestion for people who want to send socks to Japan. Normally Japanese people have smaller feet than white or black people. I am an adult woman and my shoes size is 22cm in Japan, 35 in Europe. So, please let them know to buy smaller socks for Japanese people. Thank you for your great help!

  86. Carla Roberts
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Another 45 pairs or so (sorry, I forgot to recount prior to taping the box shut) out today from California. Thanks again for doing this, although I’m starting to wonder how you guys are getting any sleep with everything you are doing. Don’t forget to take (at least some) care of yourselves, too.

    Best wishes,


  87. The Jeffcoat Family
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for enabling this avenue of relief. Thanks too, to the employees of the Decatur, IL, Sam’s Club and numerous others who generously responded to the call for socks. May they warm the hearts and soles of those who receive them.
    With loving memories of Haruko Yaki and Hiromi Shimisu, Bowling Green, KY 1988-91.

    The Jeffcoat Family
    Decatur Illinois

  88. Dom
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink


    Do you have an idea of when you’ll start accepting packages from inside Japan?

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      We already do, because many Japanese donors have noticed that we get socks to shelters more quickly and with a more personal touch than the government collections. They’re good at bulk collections and trucking, we’re good at personal packaging and hand distribution. Both are needed and helpful.

      • Dom
        Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        That’s great! (^-^) I’ll make sure to send some then. You might want to update your Japanese page, though, because it says you aren’t accepting them yet and to wait a little longer.

  89. Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    An extra inspiration for donating:

    AFTER you have donated through your choice of any trusted organization or sent the socks or other items, watch this powerful video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogE3DTRkpq4

    Then, email the name of your organization (or subject of donation) and date of your donation to the creator of the video (a film music composer) and you will receive the “The Hymn to Fukushima 50” – music of the tribute video from him. A nice “bonus” that inspires and a tribute in one.

  90. Maureen
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason and crew,
    We sent out 7 boxes of socks today from the students, parents and teachers at La Madera Elementary in Lake Forest California. All of the socks were sent with care letters and in zip lock bags. I think it was about 600-700 socks. We had an airline contact who had a discount with Fedex so instead of being more than $700, it was $176. Like someone suggested in the comments section, in the letter to parents, we asked for a voluntary donation of $1 to help with shipping. That made a huge difference, as we had $125 in donations. The Fedex employee was very helpful and was glad to hear about this program. I didn’t have your phone number and email on me to fill out the forms and I did have to fill out some customs forms. I wrote urgent, relief supplies on the customs forms so I do hope it goes through. For those who haven’t sent your packages yet, be sure to bring all the information with you when you go to send your socks! Good luck! Thank you Jason for putting all this together. I’m sure your ‘regular life’ is on hold right now as you focus on this. I’ve read some heart-breaking articles on the Daily Yomiuri website (it seems recently there is not much news here from Japan). I’m so happy to help in some small way. The students, staff and parents at my son’s school were all so incredibly grateful to me for getting this started, and I am in turn grateful to you!

  91. 小圷
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink


    こんな状況で細かいようで申し訳ありませんが、ご参考までに英語表記の地図 (http://www.jasonkelly.com/wp-content/themes/JK/images/Socks-for-Japan-wearehere.jpg) を少し訂正させていただきますと茨城はIBARAGIではなくIBARAKIです。宮城県のほうが知名度が高いというのとある年齢の茨城県民が「き」を発音するときに訛りの影響で他県民には「ぎ」に聞こえるなどの理由でよくある勘違いです。



    • Asuka
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      I think this is a wonderful way to support Japan. Luckily I could escape the disaster but, as a person who lives close to the affected area, I’d like to thank you so much.

      This is a really small matter, but your map shows the wrong pronunciation of Ibaraki Prefecture. Ibaraki is the correct pronunciation. Peope think Ibaragi is right because Miyagi Prefecture uses the same Chinese character and it’s more famous. And also, some Japanese people pronounce it Ibaragi with their accent. This is a common mistake, though.

      Anyway, together let’s do our best to get through this!


  92. Louise
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Love from Katie K. and Hannah U.

  93. Louise
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Dear Friends – The children, families and friends from our afterschool program have collected 78 pairs of children’s socks (so far!) to help Socks for Japan. We are so blessed to have the comfort of our own warm homes and hope that our donation of socks for children will help provide comfort to our friends in Japan. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to help – Love to all, Ms. Louise and the kids at “Old School”

  94. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I am an American but of Indian (from India) origin.

    We send you love and prayers.


  95. Louise Burford
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    What a great job you are doing !
    I am an Australian in Tokyo and am wanting to set up a teddy bear/soft huggable toy delivery to young children and babies in shelters and was wonderin whether that was something you could add on to what you are doing or how would be the best way to do it ?
    I believe that monetary funds and food parcels are bulk supplies are being catered for and really want to reach out DIRECTLY to the young children who have lost so much and could perhaps do with something to hug, and give even a little comfort to them.
    I am willing to do anything (and will send socks!) but my main concern is how to get things direct to the centres rather than have aprcels end up in a storage facility ?
    I am sure you must be flat out however if you have a moment to give some advice or thoughts on the the above would be much aprpeciated.
    Louise Burford

  96. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Commendable effort. Will pass on to few friends to join and work out the idea soon.

  97. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea. Will be shopping for socks soon!

  98. MARY
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant idea, would love to help. Expect my package in the mail.

  99. Belle
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea Jason. I will shop and send some socks tomorrow. I almost worry that the stores where I shop will be out of socks but I may have some in my Christmas cupboard. If I had only known I certainly would have had more. My son lives in Tokyo and I think he is involved in the translating. I hope so. My heart goes out to the people of Japan at this time. They have been so brave.

  100. Lori
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Just heard about this wonderful endeavor and have scanned some of the comments.
    It’s terrible that people have to take something so lovely and turn it around….criticizing someone who obviously has thought this through.
    Hang in there Jason…you are doing great work!

  101. pauline
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,
    I only just came across your website today. First of all, I think what you are doing is fantastic!!! I used to live in Japan and when I first saw the disaster unfolding in Japan, I wanted to help in some way but just did not know how. Currently, I am a secondary school teacher in Hong Kong and my students would also like to participate in this worthy cause… Hopefully, it’s not too late by the time we get our act together… Thank you!

  102. thank you
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    This makes me feel even better than giving $$$ to big charties. What I sent have reached people in time of need with care messages. It is worth everything! You prove that money donation is not only solution and the role of the small international-local network works well to provide emergency relief and effort. This is so efficient way. Who said it isn’t! Thank you so much and stay safe Jason and the Socks for Japan.

  103. Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Hye. I’m a student from Malaysia. Can I put your website link on my facebook and make a review about your website in my own blog? So that, more people will read and perhaps, they can make a donation too. 🙂

  104. SHAWN
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I see a clean new pair of socks in your future good luck

  105. Taylor Mei Mackinnon
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey. I am sorry for your loss. I do wish and pray that the darkness that has come across japan never happens again. I pray that your future in happy. I wish and hope that you do recover quickly (physically) from this disaster, but I know you will not recover emotionally. I’m sorry I cannot be more of help then to send you sock.
    I do hope your life is better.

  106. William Bartlett
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Hope you get warm with this pair of socks!!

  107. Renata
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    What a great work you’re a doing! Thanks for taking the initiative to collect and distribute all those socks.
    I just had a party this past weekend and asked for donations… We got 140 pairs!! They are on the way!! So glad I got friends to participate!


  108. Bob
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


    I sent a box of socks to your office a few days ago. Sadly I was not able to prepare them as you instructed because ‘ziploc’ type bags are not available here. (I’m on a small military camp in Iraq and many things not available). I was also limited to adult plain white socks.

    I’d like to send more if you need them, especially to help the children, and was wondering if you can recommend a supplier in Japan I could order socks from and have them sent directly to your office? Would you be willing to process socks received this way? My location makes it impracticable to have orders sent to me and then send the items back out again.

    Thank you again for your Good Work,


  109. karen
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jason
    Thank you for coordinating this massive work of love. Would you still be needing any more socks? Would your contact Sinma still coordinating from the Singapore side?

  110. Shing Woodall
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I teach at Tenoroc High School and my students are collecting socks, a shipment will be on its way to you on Monday. Thankyou for what you are doing.

    Shing Woodall
    Tenoroc High school
    Lakeland, FL

  111. Therese Lau
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Dear Jason,
    I heard through a friend what you are doing.
    I have started collecting donations of blankets, diapers etc for children and have had no luck on where to send it.
    Can you please let me know if I can send such items to you?

    Best~Therese Lau

  112. Maureen Miyagi
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I am living in Yokohama Japan and this site is something that I know will bring joy to all of the people who have lost everything. It is difficult for a lot of families here but nothing like it is for the people up north at this time. New socks are something that all would most certainly love to have. My own mother-in-law loved new socks from Yokohama when we sent them because they were so much warmer than the ones she would get. Please contine this good work. They will all be very touched by this simple deed of caring.
    Thank you.

  113. Caroline
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Great idea and happy to send socks.
    What about Mittens ? gloves ? Beanies ? these would be useful too wouldn’t they ?
    I hope everyone in Japan will have warm feet at least through your idea

  114. Dee Ann
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I sent 100 pair of socks last week via US Postal Service. Weight was 14 pounds at the cheapest rate of $78.10 with 6-10 day delivery. You’ll save a dollar or more if you print the postage via their USPS.com website, rather than paying at the post office (but you’ll have to weigh it at home etc.)

    I suggest that if you plan to collect socks as a class/scout/church project that you ask for $1 to be donated along with each pair of socks, which collectively should be enough to cover the postage costs and the box you may need to buy. That way the organizer/collector/packer isn’t footing the the entire large shipping bill, and a pair of socks and one dollar is manageable from each donor. Any extra monies remaining could/should be donated to Red Cross or some other organization.

    If each donor brings their pair stuffed into a Ziploc with translated note included and air pressed out, you could have that box packed, sealed and ready to go in no time!

    Just a thought. Good luck.

  115. Posted March 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this. What an awesome gesture in such a horrific time for Japan. I sent my socks off today!! I am a designer for a blog called scrap it forward and it is about crafting/scrapbooking and “paying it forward” to help others. Our current challenge is to make a card and send socks to Japan through your website. Thank you!! http://www.scrapitforward.blogspot.com

  116. kylie
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Have sent 10 pairs, but Australia Post not the fastest sytem ever.
    It would be very helpful to have an idea of what type of socks are needed- Sub-tropical Australia mostly has thin cotton socks for sale which are not great, but have found “house socks” which are fluffy and warm, but no good if going outside.

  117. Maureen
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    To Ashlee who asked about a letter to show to her principal: There is an official letter on this website. Look in the “Guidelines” section under “Send NEW Socks only”. In the last sentence, it says, You might receive a discount by showing our letter to your local store manager.” Click on “letter” to see the letter Jason posted for this purpose. Good luck! We’re organizing a sock drive at my son’s school. It might help if you have a teacher on board with you.

  118. Alex Fujino
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Dear Jason,

    I came across your website through the Reuters article written by Felix Salmon.
    Your response to his insult in “Socks for Japan” a idea to directly help the people affected by the recent tragic events in Japan was excellent and turning it into extra PR for the cause, a touch of genius.
    The article will have a positive effect for Socks for Japan.
    People like Felix are ignorant but he has done you a favor – Chin up, well done.

    Best regards,

    Alex Fujino.

  119. Ashlie
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Hiiiiii. I enquired about an official confirmation letter before.(to your email) but you didn’t respond so now I can’t collect socks in my school cause my principal wont let meeee

  120. Lily
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if this has been asked, but could I also send you some mittens, or are you strictly asking for socks? Anyway, I wanted to thank you for putting this together.

  121. Jennifer
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    For large volume donations, are there any particular shipping instructions that would make things easier?

    Also, what type of socks are in highest demand? Baby, children, women, men, unisex, etc. ..

  122. Helen
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic idea. I’ll get shopping and send some over (from UK) asap. From everybody who cares about Japan and the japanese , thank you for this amazing effort.

  123. mags
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    i think this program is brilliant, when you lose everything in yr home even small things matters. the weather is cold and socks keeps feet warm along with whatever food they have. japan will survive this disaster and those “negative” people who obviously have nothing better to do than criticise without understanding the situation cos’ they have never experienced hardship themselves

  124. Posted March 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic and thoughtful idea! off to buy to socks right now. Well done all involved

  125. Posted March 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    awesome idea!

  126. Maureen
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Sent 30 pairs of men’s socks today with letters from kids at La Madera Elementary School in Lake Forest, California. We have about 300 more socks to be sent (men’s, women’s, kids’, babies’). I am wondering for those who have sent from the US: What is the best way to ship? I found out today from the post office that it will be less expensive to sent parcel post and not use the large flat rate box. Found out that the maximum dimension (for sending to Japan) is 108 inches (width+length+depth) but I think it will still be cost prohibitive for our school to send all of the socks. Any suggestions? There is another organization here that is collecting other items and shipping them in bulk so we may have to divide up the lot of socks, sending some to you and having the rest go with the bulk shipment. Thanks for any suggestions!!

    • ERi
      Posted March 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Please let me know what you find about the shipping. I have 400+ pairs that I am wanting to ship, but too expensive to pay out of pocket…

  127. Gerrie
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    120 pairs coming your way from Malaysia! Hope you receive them soon.

  128. Jay
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    This is a great idea! I’ll be trying to send a box out to you in the next couple weeks. I had a couple extra questions for you!
    1) How long are you going to be doing this relief work?
    2) What kind of ziploc bags are you using? Gallon? Quart?

    Cheers for getting this awesome snowball rolling!

  129. Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jason, Great effort there. you get my support!!! I will have our members in Waterfall Survivors to donate some socks. Keep it up! God bless. Cheers & Warmest Regards, Joe

  130. Mike
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    So, Is it safe to visit Tokyo and Nikko with the radiation situation, as it is?

    I would like to go for the Cherry Blossoms, in april…

    Pl. advise.

    Thanks for all you are doing.


  131. Suzanne from Bend OR
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this and hand delivering socks to those with the highest need! I make quilts– so I was searching online for small groups that donate quilts to the victims of the earthquake, and I happened to stumble across your site. SOCKS! Brilliant! So simple but yet so perfect! I went out and bought a bunch today! Please don’t let the nay-sayers get you down. The look on the recipients’ faces says it all!

  132. Tami and Rob Regalia
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    This is a wonderful thing that you are doing for the disaster victims.

  133. Fifi
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    Can I donate via Paypal, and you can use the money to buy new socks and deliver them to the people in need. Thanks so much for organizing this.


  134. M. Craig
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Last night the ladies from the North Swan Baptist Church women’s Bible study group (in Tucson, Arizona) decided that we would collect socks for Japan to support you in your endeavor! What a wonderful project. God bless you.

  135. Beth Engatrom
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    My husband gets Jason’s newsletter and told me about the sock campaign. I was so excited I forwarded it to my family and friends all over the US. I am so pleased with the high response I got. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. A big box will be coming soon from a group of retired teachers from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Take care and God Bless you.

  136. Vicki C
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    This is so wonderful. I gave money, right at the beginning, to Red Cross and a local Japanese animal rescue– but this is such a personal thing. I knit and make socks- but that would take too long, so I am going to run out and buy four pounds of socks (how many socks equal four pounds? sounds like a math problem!) and get those in the mail. thanks for thinking of this and going to the effort.

    • Sarah DuVal
      Posted March 25, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I sent 143 pairs of assorted socks (toddlers, childrens, teens, adults and socks for people with circulatory problems) and it came to 10 pounds. The majority were for teens and adults, so I’d guess you can get a lot in 4 pounds. Even though socks for children are more colorful and appealing, since so many people in the shelters are elderly (estimated a third with no where to go), I’m sending more socks with care notes targeted for them, since the emotional boost is critical for their welfare. Hope this helps.

  137. Puei Ee
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason/Kelly,
    How can I ship from Malaysia to Japan as honestly I dont wish to waste the money for shipping instead use it to purchase supplies instead. I’m currently collecting funds to purchase foodstuff to be sent across. Can you help or advice? Thanks!

    Puei Ee

  138. wendy
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    love this idea!!! I will tell all my yoga students here in Hong Kong about it!!! Thankyou for the inspiration!!

  139. Lorene
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jason for doing this. This is absolutely a wonderful idea that allows us a very personal way to express our caring to victims of this tragedy. We cannot be there to provide a warm hug but socks are a way to provide a small comfort, a bit of warmth, but most of all to let those who have lost so much know that they have friends and that they are not alone.

    Thank you most sincerely for your efforts. And please know that you also have our friendship and support.

    San Carlos, CA

  140. Rose Richardson
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    Think you could contact Ebay and see if they could help in shipping or other ways?

  141. Darren
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Using up scarce logistical resources to send socks to a modern industrialized country that is quite capable of making its own socks is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. You are being rightly mocked by Reuters.

    • Annique-Elise Goode
      Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Dear Darren,

      With all due respect, if you had bothered to READ the FAQ section and to pay attention to Japanese media translations, you know know that (1) socks ARE in fact needed and requested by many shelters in the affected area and (2) the project was designed to insure that it did NOT take away from limited resources IN the disaster zone nor impede professional aide groups. Local volunteers in Japan are also participating and so far, the response from individuals receiving the socks appear to be happy and thankful.

      As someone with personal family connections in Japan and a strong love of the country, I can’t tell you how difficult it is to feel so helpless from far away. And while donating funds helps, it doesn’t replace the tangible quality of direct aid and sending a personal message of support to people who’ve lost so much.

      If you’re going to criticize somebody for doing something meaningful, it would be nice if you did so in a respectful rather than a hurtful manner.


    • Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink


      Please read my report on our Ibaraki distribution and let us know if you still think we deserve to be “rightly mocked.”

      In solidarity for Japan,

  142. Lawrence
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Sent out a package from here in neighboring Korea and got a text that said it’s on the airplane on it’s way. 🙂 Thank you so much for providing a way for us to help Japan. God Bless you sir, and God Bless Japan. Ganbattae!

  143. Seren
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Just mailed 2 packets-80 pairs of socks ( bagged with care letters) from Turkey.
    At first, some companies told me that they can’t ship. The companies that can said they can’t give discount for shipping. Finally , I found Ptt. They helped me to minimize the cost by dividing them into 2 small packets rather than 1 box .
    Hope the socks will keep victims foot and hearts warm.
    Thank you, Jason & volunteers.

  144. Sarah DuVal
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Don’t give up.

    I shipped 10 pounds USPS for $71 – there are two lists of where they will or won’t ship – but you have to ship US Priority Mail – at the cheapest rate. The highest rate is for shipping with UPS (not UPSPS) – this is not a good thing to do – however UPS did get in touch with me today and tell me they could do it after all they did before was mail my package home (in another state) and tell me they had to due to a “Natural Disaster”. Bad and wrong after I already went across a state and got my package back and sent it else wise.

    Go to a United States Postal Office and send cheapest Priority Mail. If the junior post-master in Adairville, KY can do it, then surely any postmaster can in the US no matter where they are, if you can “educate” them.

    You may have to point out that Tochigi Precinct (and Sano) are not on the prohibited list.

    Also, that Sano is not on the coast. Otherwise, they may get uncomfortable about the whole thing.

  145. Ash
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I tried to send a box of socks today, not a large one mind you, but the shipping was going to be $200.00 US! I don’t have that right now, and I’m aslo sendint them over with another party. I need to contact her about the shipping cost.

    I guess three other people before me tried to send some, but only one of them sent them. The lady at the UPS Store said his box is still stuck at customs on the US side even though his was also labled “Urgent: Relief Supplies.”

    I’ll try other venders, but USPS already told me they will not send anything there right now.

    • T. Brod
      Posted March 23, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      also best Muthertere@aol.com
      I many have a contact for the Northeast Misawa area.. If they will work for you would you let them count and recive the socks.. ? It would go FPO it won’t cost more but is only for USA shipping socks..

      WONDERFULL Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!! and service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I will wait to contact them until I hear from you…

    • Eileen
      Posted March 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      FedEx will get it there and so will USPS.
      For cheaper shipping, contact airline employees…they will be more than happy to help 🙂

    • Sarah DuVal
      Posted March 25, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Ash, I had the same problem at first because I tried to send my shipment through UPS Store. USPS has TWO lists of where they can ship and not ship right now. Critical that you tell them the prefecture (Toshigi) and make sure they know that Toshigi is not on the coast. I was finally able to ship from rural Kentucky after I went over the lists with them. But the only way you can do it is to ship Priority Mail International (which is a whole lot cheaper anyway). Good luck.

      • Posted March 25, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Good advice, Sarah. It’s Tochigi Prefecture, far from the coast, outside the zone of devastation and receiving mail more quickly than usual — especially if it’s marked “Urgent: Relief Supplies” as it should be.

  146. Carla Roberts
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Had a bit of a shipping snafu , now solved (I couldn’t get them all to fit in the box I had, even with vacuum bags and vigorous smushing). 20 pair baby and 12 pair children’s went out today; 54 pair ladies to go tomorrow.

    Best wishes,


  147. Posted March 23, 2011 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    This rocks! I am on a mission to fill a few boxes of socks. Thank you Jason and helpers for this opportunity to contribute.

  148. Livia
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Anyone has done any shipping from Italy? My mum is trying to send from there, but they’re asking loads of money for the shipping! Can you advice? Thanks!

    • Eileen
      Posted March 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Find a pilot/flight attendant or anyone that works for an airline…they get amazing discounts. A shipment of 700 socks that would have cost me about $450 with FedEx will only cost me about $150. Also, if you know any pilots flying in to Japan…WAY cheaper.

      Ask FedEx employees too..they are EXCITED to help.

      • Livia
        Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        We don’t know any pilots unfortunately, and FedEx doesn’t service the area where my mum lives (couldn’t believe it when I red about this!!!).

        Thanks for the advice anyways!

  149. sandy crosk
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    at last.
    i have been trying to find some way to involve the students i work with in trying to bring some kind of relief to the people of Japan. I have just aksed for permission to involve as many children as i can in school to get as many socks donated as i can. what a brilliant idea.

  150. Tommie
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    There are 2 small packages of men’s, women’s, kids and baby socks on the way finally for a total of 94 pairs. My granddaughter and I will be shopping this week end for more and will get them off next week. My daughter-in-law and grandson are Japanese but thankfully they are here and all their family there are safe. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Japanese people and I wish I could do more but do not have the funds at this time. Thank you for providing this service and the opportunity for us to do some small part in helping the people.

  151. Joseph Sullivan
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I just found your site. Looks like some great work you’re doing there, and the Northern Ibaraki Post really caught my eye. I used to live there and have been trying to find my old friends. I have been terribly worried. I lived in what was once called Satomi-mura (now part of Hitachi-Ota I think). It was on the northern boarder with Fukushima between Daigo machi and Kitaibaraki. If you have any info on that area I would really appreciate it. Thank you and thank you for all that you are doing.
    Joseph Sullivan

  152. Jane
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Jason: will you be following up with underwear? I also have to ask how the, uh…”feminine product” supply is holding up for women in a particular age group. I’d be delighted to include a few if you think they’re needed!

  153. Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    go socks good
    thanks for doing a great thing

  154. Kari
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Black and white socks mailed from CT today

  155. Sirijit
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks for such a great project!!

    Just send a box of socks from Thailand today ^_^

  156. Véronique
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Just sent a box of 30 from Germany. Also hope they make it OK.

  157. Susannah
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Keep up the great work!
    Just sent a box of socks from Holland. Hope they make it OK! 🙂

  158. Posted March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    So glad I checked in and you are doing well. No only that, you are doing good! Expect a shipment from Plymouth, MA soon, Jason!

  159. Rebecca Turner
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    102 pairs of socks and their accompanying notes bagged, boxed and ready to ship out in the morning. Stay safe guys and thank you for your hard work!

  160. MEA
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    One of the most commonly asked for items in camps for displaced people is “something for the lips.” To those who don’t know this, sending chapstick in the truckload seems a waste. Jason is on the ground. He’s asked what is needed. Why second guess?

  161. James MacTavish
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    This is a stupid waste of resources! seriously how can you tell people to write urgent relief supplies on boxes of socks! And then write a few paragraphs down “Socks aren’t primary support, but a token of care”. Its absolutely ludicrous. You know what’s needed? Actual urgent relief supplies! Blood, medicine, money! Don’t block up transport to Japan with nonsense like this. Its just stupid people starting up a silly “relief” donation group so they can throw it on their resume!

    • Allen
      Posted March 21, 2011 at 3:23 am | Permalink

      Hey, first of all, Japan’s transport system is speeding up everything. Mail is being delivered to Sano in the first place so a few boxes can’t hurt. Do you know how to read? Thoroughly read the FAQ. Second, people are doing this in addition to sending money for “Blood, medicine, money!” We can’t send blood but we can send medicine and money by donating money to relief organizations. If you donate money and you’re feeling the desire to help more, then you donate socks. If you think this is stupid then stop wasting your time writing comments like these and instead, go get your friends and family to donate money to some organization helping out in Japan. You should donate via Google.

      • James
        Posted March 21, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Ya i did donate thanks. Money that is, not socks. And actually how bout you thoroughly look up how much junk ie. socks is left in heaps at receiving areas. A few boxes of socks does indeed hurt as it gets in the way of transporting urgent relief items. And hey I have just as much of a right to tell people to donate in other far more positive ways then this. And from a logical point if someone donates money, then wants to do more I know for a fact that $10 they would have spent on socks would be $10 far better spent for medicine and real urgent relief items. But all the power to you Allen keep on sending your socks. Nothing helps radiation poisoning like a good wool pair.

        • Allen
          Posted March 21, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          LAX players get socks for free 🙂 you should also do research on the radiation “poisoning.” Yes, it’s higher than normal and yes, people should be on their toes but no, do not worry about poisoning. Not right now anyway.

          To top it all off, two of the parents on our team are pilots and one is actually flying out to bring home the US military families to Seattle. We also get free shipping..so free, free, free! Did you send $10? You should send more.

  162. MEA
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Would diabetic socks be useful? I can’t imagine why not, but you’d have to have another catatory, and it might be hard to make sure they go to those with medical contitions.

    Many thanks,


    • Posted March 21, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      We don’t mind the additional category in case requests for such a specialty come in. However, I’m not sure the distinction is useful, based on the following from Wikipedia:

      “The term, ‘diabetic sock’ is a marketing term. Socks appropriate for diabetic wear may be found in virtually any sockwear display, often at less cost than so-labelled, ‘diabetic socks.’ Any choice of diabetic sock should always be discussed with one’s podiatrist to determine the proper sock for the patient’s condition. The proper sock could be cotton blend with stretch tops, non-cotton with antimicrobial properties, compression type or just a plain non-binding sock to allow circulation to flow freely.”

      Might not be worth the special treatment, especially if we’re not sure of the right type of sock “for the patient’s condition.” I have a feeling diabetic socks would end up grouped with others of similar size just to get them onto any needy feet, diabetic or not, ASAP.

      Rest assured that we’ll distribute whatever you send, and thank you for the help!

  163. Yvonne Schreck
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    I agree that’s it’s a stupid idea to send used (gently or not) shoes to Japan!! New socks are a much better option and to those that are criticizing this effort, then don’t send any and go away.

  164. Steve Card
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    This is an extremely effective, worthwhile way to help out. Many people were forced to flee the onslaught with next to nothing – and barefoot. It’s still winter there. Dry socks go a long way. Local relief is in good shape, but this warms people literally and figuratively without interfering with staple efforts. They did their homework in advance, and they were proven correct, because it’s working.

  165. Chi Nguyen
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jason
    My name is Chi Nguyen. I am from Vietnam. I am studying at AIS International School Saigon in Ho Chi Minh city.

    I am about to make a fund raising for Japanese in my school, and I got to your site. Your idea is amazing, and the way you got things organized, I could not afford to do that well so I will just be the collector and deliver the donation to the Red Cross Vietnam so they can send it to the Japanese.

    I will not go with money because of some problems here in Vietnam, but I dont know whether I should go with any stuffs or just some particular ones like yours. I am afraid if I collect any stuffs some may be inappropriate for Japans, and if I specialise on only one item, I chose (clean water bottles/boxes)… So, can u give me some advices about this?

    Please mail me through my email

    Chi Nguyen

  166. ayaka.a
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Jason, thank you for your help!

    I have a suggestion. Not just short socks, but stockings and tights too. Recently,thick tights,sometimes with patterns,are very popular (流行っています). We wear both thin and thick types at work every day. They’re same as socks, and they keep your whole leg warm!

    Even after the crisis,we can continue to wear them and have good memories of how people helped us in this disaster.


    • Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Don’t see why not! We have five categories for sorting: man, woman, boy, girl, baby. In an emergency, they become: adult, child, baby. While men and boys don’t want to wear female-style socks, in a pinch anybody will wear anything because warm is warm.

      Your stockings and tights would work fine in the woman and girl bin! Thank you for the idea and for whatever you can send our way.

  167. Roberta
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    This is a terrible idea.

    Before you start screaming accusations on cruelty and injustice, read the link below. Any aid expert can tell you that bad aid is worse than no aid.



    Here’s a quote from one of the posts above:

    “Those of us involved in international aid should take our role seriously. When your project takes criticism, you shut up and listen. You act like any other professional, and you examine the criticism to see if it is accurate.”

    If you’ve been given criticism by experts and STILL refuse to listen, then you’re running this so-called aid operation simply to satisfy your own self-righteousness.

    • Posted March 21, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      What if we examined the criticism and saw that it was inaccurate? Please see the FAQ.

      • Posted March 21, 2011 at 4:35 am | Permalink

        Hey, I am the author of Blood and Milk, and I actually just examined this effort and wrote it up at UN Dispatch: http://www.undispatch.com/lets-talk-about-socks

        • Dee Ann
          Posted March 21, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          I find it appalling that people continue to take the time to bash this, or any well-thought-out and well-explained effort to help anyone in need. There is no time to stand around and and dissect what is a worthwhile effort and what isn’t.

          When I explained to a friend what my small part in this is, he expressed amazement that Japan was having trouble organizing/reaching people in need. I quickly reminded him that Japan is reeling from a 1, 2, 3-punch, not just one. The United States is supposed to be equally prepared, but look what happened to the residents of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Several celebrities (including Faith Hill & Tim McGraw), after seeing the desperate situation on TV and lack of supplies a week after the hurricane, took matters in their own hands and loaded tour buses or trucks full of supplies and handed them out personally. I don’t remember this amount of uproar about them helping out directly.

          Need is need. Just hope that in your time of need, a person, group or nation jumps in without hesitation to help, and doesn’t waste vital time listening to criticism about how to do so.

          Yes, the Red Cross, government,and other organizations are there, but there are only so many people to do many overwhelming jobs. And remember, that many of the people who might have been aid workers within Japan may have lost their lives, so there are areas with no one nearby to help. All hands on deck.

          And to those who say it makes us feel good, and self-righteous to give socks, etc., (over a monetary donation). SO WHAT? There is no self-less act. Did you feel good when you donated your $10 to the Red Cross? You did donate, right? Don’t you feel good when you’ve done something nice for someone (be it emotional, monetary or material support)? Then call me selfish and self-righteous, but someone in need will wear clean socks that I sent and my note lets her know that I care for her well-being. And that makes me feel good.

          Actually, 100 people will wear socks sent from my family and that makes me/us feel REALLY good!

          Dee Ann

          • Dee Ann
            Posted March 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            I meant for the above reply to be posted generally, not as a response to or directed at Alanna.

            Peace to all! Safe travels to the volunteers making that much-needed delivery to Ibaragi.


            • Posted March 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

              Dee Ann, I know you weren’t posting to me personally, but I wanted to say that listening to criticism is pretty much never a waste of time, in my opinion. This work is too important to do badly.

          • Jane
            Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Dee Ann: excellent points, especially about traditional organizations being completely overwhelmed by the big details (but who wouldn’t be under the circumstances?). The Post Office is also a great supplemental transport of light but completely necessary goods (such as socks), since major ports were affected by the disasters.

        • Posted March 21, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          Thank you, Alanna, for taking time to understand how we’re going about this rather than just dismissing us at face value due to trouble experienced with past direct-relief efforts. We are not the most cost-effective way to get socks to people, but that’s not always the most important criterion. Nobody wants to say to a barefoot girl in a shelter, “Hold on, honey, the most cost-effective way of getting socks to you will be here any day now.”

          We’re filling the gaps that the big NGOs are too busy to address. That’s all. We’re helping, not hindering.

          Lastly, your showing up to defend us by refuting a person using your work as evidence has finally given me my very own “Marshall McLuhan moment” à la Annie Hall and even mentioning a sock:

          • Posted March 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Jason, thanks for replying to me. I would suggest that you take a look at the comment on my post from the Japanese aid worker who has some concerns about your model, in case you want to make any changes.

            • Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

              You’re welcome, Alanna. I did see the comment from the aid worker and I replied, but my reply hasn’t appeared yet. Please ask that it be approved, as it addresses the concerns raised.

              I just returned from our delivery trip to northern Ibaraki with fresh evidence that the objections raised by critics are unfounded. Many victim shelters do not have socks, period. The victims are overjoyed to receive socks and, contrary to what critics say, socks are not less needed than food, water, and blankets — they’re more needed because other efforts forget them. The primary aid arrived quickly. People are eating and drinking and sleeping under roofs, but they’re lacking socks. We have socks and so, too, do more of the victims every time we distribute.

              The socks plus care letters are a perfect combination, and we arrived at it by studying the way people fled the disaster and correctly predicting what would fall through the cracks of major relief efforts. We are enhancing care for victims — not attempting to compete with what has been done and is being done by NGOs and the government — and we’re succeeding. The people who matter most are the ones telling us so: city hall coordinators, area leaders, and victims themselves. You know what we hear when entering a shelter and announcing, “We came to deliver socks” to the group? An outcry of, “Finally, socks!” followed by a rush to our boxes, which we open to a flurry of hands reaching for a simple comfort that they’ve gone more than a week without.

              I’m too tired to write a detailed report now, but will get to it between sock processing in the morning. I appreciate your interest in our effort and your willingness to consider fresh information rather than judging us through the lens of what happened in past disasters elsewhere. This is Japan, we know Japan, we correctly forecasted what would happen in the weeks following the quake, and we’re helping in a way that matters.

  168. Jennie Anderson
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


    This is a wonderful practical way to assist, and Tuesday I will be going shopping to contribute as many pairs as I can afford.

    My partner and I were in Tokyo just 8 weeks ago and it saddens us greatly to see the suffering and hardship of these wonderful people.

    I will do what we can to a) personally contribute and b) to spread the word so that we can get the message out far and wide.

    Blessings from Australia,
    Jennie and Ross

  169. Carla Roberts
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this. I lived in Tokyo in 1983-84 with a wonderful Japanese family while attending the Waseda Kokusaibu, and love and miss Japan (and my host family), although looking at those dates I suddenly feel very old. FYI, I found out about your program from an article on helping Japan on http://www.tofugu.com.

    I picked up 50 pairs of women’s socks today that will go out in Monday’s post. I’ve emailed 60 friends with details of your program and links to your site.




    • Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Carla! Japan does have a way of getting into the heart and staying, doesn’t it? It was very kind of Tofugu to include us in its article, and I’m glad it inspired you to join us and tell your friends about us. We won’t let you down. Whatever you send will make it to the people you want to help!

  170. Clare
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to ask you, Jason, what sizes are useful for adults? An Asian-American lady in the Ravelry group discussing this pointed out that American clothing sizes are usually too big for her. Women’s small to medium? Even smaller sizes?

    Thank you so much for doing this amazing work, and please don’t let trolls and flamers discourage or upset you!

    • Jenna
      Posted March 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Feet sizes range in Asians (I am Asian myself). Underwear and clothing usually run large but feet sizes are typically the same.

    • Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Jenna. We haven’t received anything unusable. There are so many victims that it’s like handing out socks to the day’s customer count at a post office: every type of person, every size, every mood, and so on. You can’t go wrong. We tend to get more socks for men than any other target, but fewest for boys, oddly. Generally, it’s safer to go big than small because big still works even if it’s too big.

  171. P
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    “Kouetsu Sasaki, a 60-year-old city hall worker, said they still need gas, vegetables, socks, underwear, wet wipes and anti-bacterial lotion. There is some medicine, but not enough.”

  172. Mia
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    We are directing people to buy from a Fred Meyer in the area and we are negotiating that they match what we buy so everyone, try doing that! We did this last year when we had to buy arts and craft supplies for Vietnam and it looks like they might do it again. Not only does it bring them business and media coverage, but it allows for them to get rid of the boxes of excess socks in their storage. The worst they could say is no.

    Praying for Japan.

  173. Jenna
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    My whole church is collecting and the kids are writing letters (colorfully). We have made it a huge event–
    “일본에 양말이 필요하단다…
    땅이 춤을 추고 집에 물이 덮치는 가운데 맨발로 뛰어나온 사람들…
    얼마나 놀랬을까?
    사랑을 담은 카드 한장과 양말…모아서 보냅시다.”

    which roughly translates to:

    “While the earth shook and the seas roared, many victims fled barefoot. How scared do you think they were? Fill a letter with love and send them with socks…lets send hope to Japan.”

    Great project! The church itself has donated thousands of dollars for relief but we wanted to raise awareness and donate more and we found Socks for Japan. Thank you!!!

  174. Allen
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hey Jason,
    I am a high school student and my whole lacrosse team is pitching in. I will collect them on Monday and send you a batch. I learned about foot diseases the other day in my health class and I hope that our socks can prevent that!

    Thanks bro (Jason). And Japan, hang in there. We are all thinking of you.

    • Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      That’s wonderful, Allen! We’ll keep an eye out for them, and I’m sure your socks will go a long way toward thwarting foot disease!

  175. Jane
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    this is a fantastic idea!! My friends in Japan are telling me the shelters are FREEZING and that there are no blankets!! They have told me that they are finally starting to see improvement in relief efforts and one mentioned a shortage of socks and underwear and clothes in general. I told them about this project and they are excited that everyone is pitching in somehow.

    Expect a huge shipment of socks from Korea in the next few days!

  176. Jenny Callaway
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Oops, nevermind, I see that other clothes shouldn’t come, I’ll find another way to donate it though, thanks!

    • Jane
      Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Hey Jane, look into Japanese Red Cross. My friends are telling me they are taking donations from other parts of Japan (the west coast) for the east coast and I am sure they would appreciate NEW donations from the US

      • Jane
        Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Jenny* (sorry I got confused with my own name!)

        • Jenny Callaway
          Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          I tried looking at the US Red Cross, my parents are both volunteers with them. But good idea…I’ll try the Japanese Red Cross. THANKS!

  177. Jenny Callaway
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    My family will go buy socks tomorrow, but it is ‘early’ Spring (not warm) here in Wisconsin and I had bought 2 jackets for my daughter, but she only needed one…the other is sized 24 mo, new with tags…it’s perfect for the weather in Japan. Could I send the coat? I would love for a little girl to have a new coat. We’ll still send the socks of course. But if a jacket can tag along too, I’d be more than happy to send it.

  178. IndyRose
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Google translate is very helpful, but I would suggest to copy the Japanese translation and paste it back to translate BACK to English. This might be complicated, but it checks to see if what you said makes sense! FANTASTIC idea Jason, I have shared this on Facebook and with friend’s web site. She is Japanese here living in the States and of course is worried about her country.

    • Posted March 21, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      We really appreciate your spreading the word! On translation, the best way to get a good letter is to tap our bilingual elves on the Care Letter Creation Page. Put your English and Google Japanese into a comment there and — presto! — back will come perfectly cleaned, ready-to-go Japanese in a reply. Try it!

  179. Maureen
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I’ve read through all the comments here as I have presented this information to my kids’ principal, teacher, the school’s girl scouts group and PTA. I for one think Jason is doing a great job and I think the importance of the letter writing campaign is essential. I wonder if anyone saw the campaign currently promoted by Sportsmart and Soles 4 Souls? The idea of sending ‘gently used’ shoes to Japan, now that is something to criticize! I lived in Himeji and Kobe before the great Hanshin earthquake. I know Japanese would love nice, warm socks especially with a letter of encouragement. But used shoes for Japan? Now, all those people criticizing this local campaign, please use your negative energy against campaign, which seems to be getting a lot of positive press in the US. I haven’t seen any naysayers for the Soles 4 Souls campaign which is remarkable when you see all the negativity in these comments. I’m organizing a “Socks for Japan” open house so our friends and neighbors can drop by with socks and write a note. My brother works for an airline and gets a good discount with FedEx. Jason, can we use FedEx or is it better to use the USPS? Thanks so much! Hope you are well in Ibaraki-ken, as we here about the potential of radiation exposure there.

    • Eileen
      Posted March 20, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Hey! I’ve researched several options and discovered that USPS is SO much cheaper than FedEx! But if you know someone who works for FedEx, they get AWESOME discounts!

  180. linda quakenbush
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    i would like to help you. i would like to get a couple of groups of people together to gather socks.
    are there any shippers you are connected to in los angeles who might be willing to take offerings of socks if i can galvanize a few boxes worth, etc?

    • Eileen
      Posted March 20, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Contact airlines and they can connect you with pilots/flight attendants. They get awesome discounts and there are happy to spare them. Also, people who work for FedEx/UPS get discounts! Do you know any in your area? Talk to them! 🙂

  181. Ellen Booraem
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    If wet cold is the issue, may I suggest wool socks rather than cotton. Wool is probably the only material that retains warmth even when wet. (I haven’t read the other comments, so perhaps this is redundant.)

  182. Nobody
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Socks can double as mittens. Its cold as brass monkey’s balls over there right now…

  183. Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    I think this is a wonderful idea, and obviously very needed. Don’t let the haters get you down – people never stop and think what sorts of things they would want or need during a disaster until it actually happens to them.

    I’ve linked your page on a list of donation resources I currently have going on my blog. Hopefully it’ll bring at least a few more people to you.

  184. Dianne
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    “I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.” Harry stared. “One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

    Wonderful idea and such a simple need that is not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of what to donate.

    In Tsuchiura they have just established an evacuation centres. I was just reading a list of things still needed and “socks” is on that list. So, sorry professor cool. Socks is not a crazy idea at all.

  185. Kirsten E. Carr
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Jason,

    Do NOT be discouraged by negative comments! What you are doing is a truly wonderful thing. The YMCA in Fairfield, CT, USA has heard your prayers and I am working on a proposal to initiate a clothing (socks only to start) drive. I also sent you an email this morning so that we may connect more on this issue. I look forward to working with you!

    With love and hope,


  186. Professorcool
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    What, are you crazy? This may not be the stupidest idea I have ever heard, but it is certainly a top contender for that honor.

    I’m going to start a campaign to send only pencil sharpeners as a relief aid. Or maybe refrigerator magnets would be better?


    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Except no relief centers have requested pencil sharpeners or refrigerator magnets. They have, however, requested socks — from us. Also, boosting spirits through care letters is very important. Victims of the 1995 Kobe quake said so.

  187. Royce
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    This is a fantastic idea, will get you some socks soonest.

  188. Sarah
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    One aspect of recovering from a massive tragedy like this is trying to support good mental health in those affected. Offering socks and a direct message of care and compassion is a fantastic opportunity to provide a small degree of moral support. Small comforts do matter a great deal in times of crisis, and something that helps you to feel you are not alone and other people – even strangers – care about you can make a huge difference to your ability to cope. Of course the primary aid needs to be provided, but beyond that small acts of kindness touch hearts, lift spirits, and ease the fear and distress a little.

    Going sock shopping today. 🙂

  189. Steve the Waegookin
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the drive. I spent a moment reading through the comments and I think that your willingness to help is amazing.

    I’m gathering socks here in Korea from my friends and their friends. I’ll be sending a package soon, and possibly another one a week later. I started reading through your comments section, but I realized that it seems to have the problem that most comment sections have; a few people dominate the comments with antagonization. Thanks for putting up the FAQ. I have questions you may want to address in your FAQ.

    How long do you estimate the drive will be active? Do you have a goal you are attempting to meet (quantity) or a cutoff number?

    In any case, if you find yourself with an excess of socks, I trust they will still go where they are needed. Having a good available for those who need it is never a bad idea.

    Kudos. You are doing good work.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Steve.

      We expect the drive to go for months, especially since it looks like one pair of socks per victim won’t be enough.

      As for excess, we don’t anticipate any because we’re monitoring inventory carefully and will increase or reduce the pace of distribution based on demand and victim counts. So far, we’ve faced only more demand, more desperation, and too little supply. Based on emails from donors, our supply should increase dramatically soon. If we do end up with excess inventory when the last victim returns home, it’ll be our pleasure to find other needy feet. One benefit of focusing on socks is that our inventory won’t spoil. The socks will wait for feet to fill them.

  190. Posted March 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for doing a great thing. OW SOCK company is with you all the way. 100 pairs for men women and children are coming to you now.
    OW Socks/Sven Wiederholt

  191. Rebecca
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason, your Socks for Japan drive is such a great idea. I’ve been searching for ways that I can help, more than just monetary donations. I love the idea! My husband was in Tokyo when the quake hit, and we have family there as well, so I want to do as much as I can to help! If you don’t mind, I would like to share your site on my new Facebook page Relief for Japan

    I can’t wait to send socks to Japan!! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help!

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Asking me if I mind you sharing our effort on your Facebook page is like asking if I mind getting a good seat in a theater. Not at all! Thank you for the support, Rebecca, and for caring enough about Japan to create your own page dedicated to helping it.

  192. Quick Question
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Do you want only socks or underwears too? I read some of the comments in this boards and forgot your answer. I already bought lots of socks and underwears today. But if the latter is not needed, I will not send. I also told lots of my friends already. So could you tell me as soon as possible? I already send 45 pairs of socks today and will send more tomorrow. Hope the box will get there soon.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Yes. Please send only socks. Thank you!

      • Quick Question
        Posted March 19, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Thanks for your response Jason. Got ya.

      • Wilfred
        Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink


        just one word, after socks are in, maybe can find out from the local aid group what else they might be requiring (just say maybe the socks send-in is so much and exceed number of needy there). Consider rally for other items should they are required too…we’ll see what we can send in…

        • Heather
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:24 am | Permalink

          From what I’ve seen in news reports, there are as many as 400,000 people displaced from this disaster. And given they will each surely need more than one pair of socks to wear for the upcoming months…that’s A LOT of socks! Keep them coming everyone!

  193. Milo and Sophie
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    We are sending you the warmest woolen socks we can find in hot, hot Malaysia!

  194. Mi
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink


    I am very touched by all the work and effort you have put into this. You obviously have passion and altruism in helping Japan’s earthquake victims. However, I think your organization is not what Japan needs.

    This is not just my opinion. Aid experts, professors, journalists, and many others have said this. Even the Japanese government is saying they don’t want it.

    If you need more info:

    I understand that you want to help in some way for Japan – but sending socks will only make the situation worse.

    You obviously have passion and skill in gathering support for Japan’s earthquake victims. Your website is very comprehensive. Why don’t you use your passion and altruism to help Japan into raising funds, instead of socks? For an internationally-reputed organization, say MSF?

    PLEASE don’t be one of the misguided but well-intentioned individuals who worsen emergency situations. Japan does not want or need socks.

    • Carly
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      If you read back through the comments, every single one of your counter-arguments has been addressed. This is in addition to, not instead of, money being given.

      The 3/15 update on the Givewell blog is now out of date and the Japanese government is currently, in fact, NOT saying they don’t want it. As of yet they haven’t specifically asked for anything from the regular people of other nations (though what they’ve asked leaders of other nations behind closed doors has not been publicized – international leaders have mobilized forces to help with the relief efforts, so it can perhaps be naively assumed that it was asked for in the first place). The Japanese government has sent numerous messages to the people of Japan, asking for donations of things such as water, diapers, portable toilets, food, gasoline, underwear, blankets…AND SOCKS. They are asking individuals to drop items off at donation centers set up in each prefecture for the receiving of such items.

      The Japanese Red Cross IS accepting donations.

      The three articles you link to have all been mentioned before in the comments – and notably, they ALL quote the Givewell blog post. Well-researched though it is, it worries me that this assessment is only coming from the folks at Givewell and there is no other independent organization (or 2 or 3) who have also assessed the efficacy of cash donations in a crisis and the abilities/track records of NGO’s to deliver. The “aid experts, professors, journalists, and many others” that you cite all seem to have read this one assessment and taken it at face value – though Givewell notes that it is extremely complicated to truly assess how funds are used during an emergency situation.

      We only have past examples, such as the Haitian Earthquake and Hurricane Katrina, to take into account, and past examples involving different NGOs in different countries responding to different crises can only slightly indicate what we might expect in this situation. It’s fine to look at all of this and draw your own conclusions that what Jason’s doing is a bad idea…despite the many and more numerous voices to the contrary…but your opinion will hardly sway something that is already in motion and it just begins to sound like noise from a very remote and wholly unconnected arena.

      What is just as important to this effort, if not more, is the sentiment of care for the stranded people of Japan who are isolated from their loved ones and the outside world. After countless disasters in the history of mankind, it has been shown that for the survivors of these tragedies, the psychological effects of feeling desolated and abandoned have been significant roadblocks to healing and rebuilding, lingering for years down the line. That is what the international community is trying to address – to spread a little warmth for the heart (and warmth for the feet).

      But the one, undeniable fact remains: the people stuck in the survivor camps DO WANT and ARE ASKING for (among other things) socks.

      • Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely correct, Carly! Thank you for saving me time. The point I should emphasize is that we’ve been contacted directly by area leaders requesting socks, and the need is so urgent that police departments are getting involved to provide passes for organizations like ours that have inventory and willing workers.

    • Carol Neumayer
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      It is unbelievable that you can write such a mean, cold-bodied letter. Obviously you put a lot of effort in to getting other peoples opinions, including the Japanese Government, to tell you that what this organization is doing is a waste of time and that they don’t want it or need it! How dare you!

      The Japanese people cannot even get a straight answer concerning the looming problem at the Fukushima Nuclear plant; yet, the Japanese Government took the time to give you their opinion about people sending socks… There are several hundred organizations out there who are setting up to have money sent in to help the people affected by this horrible tragedy, as well as organizations to have clothes donated, etc. What this organization is doing is needed and very much appreciated. Everything around there is wet from the tsunami and the snowfall just adds to it. People’s feet are going to get wet and a pair of dry socks is going to be appreciated. It is not as if they can walk down to the nearest laundry place and wash their clothes.

      I for one will be sending socks to Japan and I know in my heart that when someone whose feet are cold and wet slips on a pair of dry socks, they too will be glad that someone cared enough to send them socks. Why don’t you put a pair of socks on, then get your feet wet and make sure you’re not around any heat the way most of the people in those shelters are going without, and let’s just see how long you can stand it. After a few minutes your feet will get really cold, then that cold starts to travel through your body and before you know it, you’re cold everywhere and just think, if you had been able to change your wet socks for a pair of dry ones, you wouldn’t be so cold, would you? So PLEASE, do be one of the misguided but well-intentioned individuals who worsen emergency situations. Japan does want and needs socks.

      • Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear, Carol! To be clear, we’re not worsening anything. (I realize you know that, Carol, but newcomers doing research might not have reached the conclusion yet.) Our systematic approach and ability to deliver to places of need relieves other aid groups of the burden of doing anything other than telling us where to go.

        The cry for socks is becoming so well known here in Japan that everybody reacts to our program by saying, “People sure could use some socks now” followed by telling how they saw a victim asking for socks on TV.

        This criticism has been amply refuted. Those who continue raising it are not keeping up with news or, increasingly, look to be upset that we’re succeeding at filling a gap left by larger relief organizations when everything they’ve read tells them it shouldn’t be possible.

        Those of us doing something to help are in this together, working to stay out of each other’s way and get our piece of the enormous relief task right. The NGOs and government have their hands too full dealing with food, water, blankets, radiation, weather, refugee camps, and so on to worry about socks. We can’t do the big stuff, but we can do socks and letters — with aplomb!

        • Mi
          Posted March 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Carol, please keep your replies civil.

          You may have heard that the British organization International Rescue Corps was kicked out of Japan on Tuesday. I think this is strong proof that Japan is refusing aid if it is not requested.

          Could you send me a reliable source (i.e. official Japanese government website) which the Japanese government says they want socks? I find it hard to believe that a government that just kicked out a medical team and has refused offers of help from 70 countries would want suddenly request socks.

          • Carly
            Posted March 21, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            According to
            the International Rescue Corps were not allowed to join the rescue teams in Japan because they:

            a) could not speak the language
            b) did not have the “necessary transport in place”

            meaning the group went over there without enough preparation in regards to the transport system, and without translation abilities.
            It’s no wonder the authorities in Japan deemed this to be more of a help than a hindrance.

            As to the “Japanese government” saying they want socks – I can’t point you to a website in English saying this, because I don’t know of one where the *entire Japanese government* is saying this as an official statement. They haven’t released any official statements regarding items needed, since that differs from location to location among the shelters. As Jason has shared with us already, the various prefectural offices in Japan are coordinating the relief efforts in each prefecture, and it was from Ibaraki that he received a phonecall asking for socks. I take it you have you not been watching the NHK live broadcast news from Japan? Friday, Mar 18 was one of the first days that journalists were able to access some of the survivor camps in various prefectures, and they read a list of items needed out loud: portable toilets, toilet paper, blankets, space heaters, gasoline, portable generators, flashlights, underwear, methods of trash disposal, socks, toiletries, wet wipes, antibacterial lotion etc. I am not sure if you can watch a re-broadcast – I checked their website but they only had the video they made at one of the centers in Ishinomaki-shi.

            See also: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110318/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_earthquake_devastation for a quote in English from a city hall worker in a Hirota shelter.

  195. quinn
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Your project was posted on ravelry today…I think you will see a significant response 🙂

  196. Claire Paul
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink


    Dear friends, I lived through an earthquake in 1989, and I remember how disconcerting the aftershocks were. I hold you in my heart.
    Claire Paul
    Santa Cruz, CA, USA

  197. Seren
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Such a great idea!!
    After donating money for the relief efforts, I was desperately looking for more ways to help. At the end, I found your website few hours ago, today. I am a former monbusho scholar; practically, the scholarship was from the taxes of Japanese people, which gifted me the opportunity to study in Japan, without the scholarship it was impossible. So it is my duty to help when in Japan is in need, I feel that I need to do something more than donations and miraculously I found you.
    I gathered 60 new socks, now preparing the care letter. I think it will be ready to be shipped on Monday from Turkey.

  198. Prasoon
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    As of now ,i believe let us give the attention that this tragedy deserves that is to help have helping hands ,in this tough time rather than concentrating on tragedy there or anywhere else.

    My few cents :-
    1.Idea flaunted above is amazing but lets start thinking a way forward and see if that is enough (though appreciable).

    2.Can we identify few NGO working in Japan and have our words of sympathy(both emotionally and materialistic too).


  199. Annique-Elise Goode
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea! I’m a ‘gaijin’ with multi-generational family connections to Japan, where my family still lives. I was so upset feeling like I couldn’t do much from Canada. But here’s a way I can help! I’ll put together a care package today and I’m spreading the word to my friends and family here in Vancouver and around the world!

    Minna-san, ganbatte!!

  200. hello
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:59 am | Permalink


    Quick question. Do you want only socks or underwears too? I read some of the comments in this boards and forgot your answer. I already bought lots of socks and underwears today. But if the latter is not needed, I will not send. I also told lots of my friends already. So could you tell me as soon as possible? I will send it tomorrow morning (sat. in Michigan). Thanks

  201. Margot Page
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    For the nay sayers out there: Don’t be so dismissive of the simple act of giving socks. Our young people who are in the armed forces and who are posted in Afganistan and Iraq CONSTANTLY ask for socks to be included in their care packages from home. To them having healthy feet is critical. Obviously then, to the Japanese in this disastrous situation having warm, clean socks for their feet is equally as critical . . . As Emerson said: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon will be too late.”

  202. Donelle
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    After being inspired by the number of knitters I found on the web, I wondered if I could organize “Cover Japan” knitting days where we all knit blankets, afghans, warm items for the adults and, especially, the children to wrap up against the cold. Would this be helpful if we could ship to you for distribution to the shelters and individuals? Just a thought for now. But desperate to do something at this point.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      How about a sock-knitting party? We can’t accept blankets, afghans, and such, but we sure can accept socks of all kinds. Thanks for your desire to help!

  203. Poesy Liang
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a very thorough FAQ, thank you for this. Makes our life a lot easier when we get hit by crazy questions.

  204. Rachele
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. I’m going to hand knit some socks and add them too. They’re even warmer and more comfortable than most store-bought socks…and certainly more personal.

  205. aileen
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    hello. i’m from the philippines and i would really like to donate some socks. however, i don’t know how. and would it be alright if i could only send about 10 to 15 pairs?

  206. Kamal
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Hello Again Jason San!

    I’ve just come back from buying some socks. I’ve bought some for Men/Women, Toddlers and teenage Girls sizes. I had no idea the Yubin Kyouku closed at 4pm here in Sakai and it’s Friday now so I have no choice but to wait till Monday to post it to you.

    Thanks so much for your efforts, every little bit of help counts! Bless your team.

    For Amy Rorke, I can’t understand why you say such a thing. There is nothing offensive or arrogant about this. I frankly don’t care if these people are Bill Gates children. The fact is that it is very cold up there and these people need socks for warmth! End of story.

  207. Kamal
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Jason San, this is a wonderful idea!

    My wife and I are in Osaka and we found your site through here:

    Can you believe what that guy is writing!

    Anyway’s hats off to you. I’m going to buy some socks right now and post it to you right away from Sakai, Osaka.

    This is very good of you!

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      We’ll watch for them and, no, I can’t believe what he’s writing. Best to forget it and move on, though, demonstrating through results rather than argument that we’re aware of the pitfalls of this kind of effort, we’re getting around them, and we’re helping people right here right now. Thanks for being part of it!

  208. Elana
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I found your website through the link posted on the disparaging Reuters blog post. Disparaging though it was, the silver lining is I, as well as many others, I’m sure, will now be able to help out when before we weren’t even aware of this initiative. 🙂

  209. Kirsty
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    This is a fantastic idea! I’m in Tokyo and I’ve had so many friends overseas asking how they can help – materially as well as financially – and knowing how important clean, dry socks are, I’m sure they will be greatly appreciated. Nay sayers have no idea how cold and wet it has been around Tohoku, with heating fuel running out and blackouts. So everyone, please send lovely, warm, soft socks – the kind you’d like to wear yourself. And including a note is a great idea. I’m sending socks as soon as the next blackout is over!

  210. Capt Mark
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


    Bless you for you innovative efforts. I am simply stunned by the nay-sayers and negative commenters. None seem to have read your very comprehensive post. All seem to have found a rationale for doing nothing to help a fellow planetary traveler in their moment of need. We are headed out right now to find as many quality socks as we can afford, and I’m unemployed!

    Again, bless you for your efforts.

  211. Jamey
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    If Amy could take a moment to understand that postage is not a natural resource, and certainly not endangered, she might take a moment to breathe and re-read the reasoning behind the effort. Even the most advanced societies are not immune to natural and manmade disasters. But, I tend to think more in the individual sense rather than the collective, so if new clean socks provide for people affected by the events, then socks it is!

  212. Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Writing care letters and going out to buy socks this is a wonderful idea.
    We are also doing our part to help http://www.barkingmadberry.com.au #prayforJapan
    Thanks Jason.

  213. Ann Chin-Rosicki
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    This is so great, my daughter and I feel like we’re making a difference in such a small but joyous way! Thanks!

  214. Jamey
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think this a splendid way to provide some relief, no matter how small it may seem to be to those who aren’t affected, to how much of a joy it may be to those who are and receive. I prefer to see my help go directly to those in need rather than to some organization, and socks are personal. Sending socks is the best I can do in place of actually lending my hand, my arm, and my sweat.

  215. Rebecca Turner
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful way to help! I have to work tomorrow but will go out this weekend and buys socks to send and will post this on my facebook page to pass the word on. So many of us feel so helpless.

  216. Amy Rorke
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    This is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever seen. If the waste of all that postage and the offensiveness of giving such a highly developed and technologically advanced nation a shipment of SOCKS wasn’t enough, I had to look at that photo of you with your arms crossed and a smug smile as you look out from the WORLD. Your arrogance appalls me.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Amy, what a pity you feel this way when the evidence supporting the value of this endeavour is so clearly laid out. The energy you wasted in posting this negative message could well have been spent putting together a care package that would mean so much to someone in a desperate situation. So often it’s the little things that count the most. I had already contributed to the red.cross and still felt an overwhelming desire to do something personal; packaging up socks with notes feels very meaningful, even technologically advanced people appreciate simple acts of kindness — if just one person has warm feet and a warm heart because of this initiative, it is a beautiful and compassionate act, rich in humility and demonstrative of our common humanity, worthy of the postage, and yes, even the photographic image you dislike so intensely.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      The Ibaragi area of this technologically advanced nation called us this morning to say they don’t have socks for victims and ask how quickly we could get supplies to them. Even rich nations and rich people suffer in emergencies. We’re not suggesting that Japan is a nation that hasn’t yet mastered the sock. We noticed early that socks were being lost in the emergency shuffle and thought we could help remedy that — and we were right.

      On my photo, you raise a good point. I hadn’t considered how it must look. The photo of me that you saw was the standard site photo that I used prior to this emergency. In our haste to get Socks for Japan going, we built everything on top of the existing site, header and all. We’re now removing my photo and name from the header entirely so nobody thinks I’m grandstanding with Socks for Japan. By the time you read this, the header may already be entirely focused on the disaster and our desire to help.

  217. Sarah DuVal
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    To Morgan and Jason – Have to admit, I slipped a “Hello Kitty” and or “Adorable Big-Eyed Animal” sticker between each pair of socks I sent that were “kid-size” from ages 5-10. Just hoping to give some surprise cheer.

    Jason, you and your group are doing something special. Hang in there, despite.


  218. Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    What a fantastic idea. Especially due to the amount of crisis’ we are seeing all over the world. I will be happy to start a collection in my business to send to you as I know all my clients are a very generous and helpful group.

    Kepp up the great work and please let the japanese know we are all thinking of them in their time of need.

    Kind Regards

    Stephanie Hardy
    Berwick Shapemaster
    The Vibrosaun Clinic

  219. Leigh laycock
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Will be glad to send socks to you, ignore everyone that says you shouldn’t be doing it while they just sat talking…you are doing something constructive. Good for you, I will tell other people (here in the UK) about your sock appeal. Hope you all stay safe and well, email me if there is anything I can do to help.


  220. Morgan
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    This is a great thing you’re doing for japan. I know you said no food, but I just wanted to ask anyway — not even hard candies that are individually wrapped? I always like sending a little sweet with gifts.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      If you put them in plastic bags containing the socks and letters, we’ll hand them out. We don’t want to encourage it, though. We’re keeping this simple so it will go smoothly. We don’t want to receive different “enhancements” in every box. I very much appreciate your sentiment, though, and so will the recipients of your socks and letters.

  221. Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for doing this. In a time of crisis, it is the little things that count. A hot meal. Blankets. Warm feet.

    Am sharing ’round the globe.

  222. Dee Ann
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason:

    Don’t let the naysayers get you down. I and everyone I tell about this project love it and are figuring out ways to involve their groups. My neighbor wants to collect socks at her girls’ schools. A friend who is a coffee-shop manager in Cincinnati wants to involve his store’s customers.

    My Mom is from Yokohama (I was born in Tokyo — a hapa-baby), and all her brothers and sisters live in and around Tokyo and are safe for now. She loved this idea when I told her about it, so we went to WalMart yesterday and bought about ten packages of socks. We told a clerk there what we were doing, and they let us buy four packages for a penny each. As soon as I get the notes together and translated, they will be in the mail to you.

    Thank you for spearheading this effort. Be safe! Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan.

    Dee Ann
    Denver, CO

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Fantastic! Would somebody mind contacting Wal-Mart to see if that offer could become a standing national one for anybody bringing in a printout of our home page (or some other way they devise to try cutting down on the number of people who will abuse the program to get cheap socks)? On the subject, another donor received discounted shipping at a neighborhood postal center. Can somebody look into that as well? That one would be easier to limit fraud because the discount would apply only to items shipped to our address. Companies seem eager to help — I just can’t look into from within the situation.

      • Dee Ann
        Posted March 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Jason: I called the corporate offices of both WalMart and Target. Details in the email I just sent you. The gist is Store Managers/Team Leaders have local donation budgets, so I suggest your readers just do what my Mom and I did and ask your store manager to see if they’ll give you a discount of some sort, at least until we can move them towards a national program.

        Just wanted you/your readers to know “somebody” followed up. Calling on employees of either store or other chains approach their Managers from within to help the cause!

  223. Hello
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink


    Thank you for doing this. I think this is a great idea. My husband is Japanese. And I know that japanese always wear socks. Socks are one of the most comfort things to keep them warm in winter. Also sending underwears is a good idea too. Those are needed too in emergency.

  224. Posted March 18, 2011 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I am so excited that there is a way to help in a tangible manner! We’ve donated money but I really wanted to do something personal. My husband and I are going sock shopping this weekend and will have a package headed your way next week. Thanks so much for allowing us to help!

  225. CMD
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Hi jason,

    I am getting some sock together. But I was wondering if there was a way that I could share this website on Facebook. You know, like those little icons you see at the bottom of website where you can just click and it will post it on Twitter or Facebook or to send as an email?


  226. Catherine
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Will you also accept handknit socks?

  227. Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    Great idea. People sometimes forget it’s the little things that can mean the most to people.

    Please feel free to pass on the following website, which I’ve been helping out with translation. Its objective is to pass along messages of hope and encouragement from people around the world to the people of Japan, particularly those most affected by the disaster.


    The messages are translated by native Japanese speakers (and their spouses, in my case) and distributed to those who are trying to cope with what’s become of their lives. The importance of the state of mind of the survivors and relief workers in the impacted areas cannot be overstated. Sending a personal, heartfelt message in Japanese is a simple yet effective — and extremely practical — way to help.

    I feel that your project and ours are on the same wavelength, so to speak. All the best in your endeavour, and to the people of Japan in this extremely difficult time.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      Same wavelength, no doubt! We’ll link to Hope Letters from our sidebar soon. Thanks, Scott, and God speed.

      • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:38 am | Permalink

        Hi Jason,

        Thank you for your reply. This is a great thing you’ve got going here, and I’ll do my very best to spread the word.

        Once I’m off work, I’ll be heading to the department store to purchase a bunch of new socks for delivery to your office.

        Keep up the great work,


  228. Becky Moder
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I like seeing Love in Action…what a terrific idea!
    Will start shopping right away!

  229. Victoria
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    How long are you going to be accepting these socks? I’m going to start a sock drive in my city and send all the socks to there but I was going to hold it next week, is this going to be too late?

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      Not at all. This will last a long time, much longer than the news cycle. After the headlines have moved on, we’ll still be in the field, socks and letters in hand.

      • Victoria
        Posted March 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Okay, thank you for your prompt answer. I feel much better about giving myself sometime to get a big drive going on. Great idea, by the way. You have a big heart to be helping Japan out in a way that goes beyond untouchable money.

  230. Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    “I think some of the reluctance among self-avowed aid experts to support giving to Japan relates to the fact that Japan is a rich country. They seem to resent the tremendous willingness in western countries to help Japan and also resent the attention the quake/tsunami/nuclear situation has received; it seems as though some of these self-superior aid experts view the news coverage as overblown in relation to the amount of attention given to issues in developing countries. ”

    ^ This smacks of ignorance. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m in disbelief at some of the comments here.

    • Concerned.
      Posted March 18, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Me too Matt..

      “out of stubborn principle (they will say, “giving to organizations for specific events and short-term goals is always stupid, you buffoons, so DO NOT IT”), ”

      Wow. ‘Stubborn principle’?? Look at organisations like MSF. They NEVER run specific disaster response appeals. None of their money or goods are earmarked for a particular area. That’s for a reason.

      These principles aren’t there to make aid workers feel better about themselves. Guidelines like “don’t send goods during an emergency” isn’t a ‘general rule’ as someone stated – it’s come about from years and years of experience in this industry, responding to complex disasters and taking learnings from each.

      None of us are saying these things in vain. Our backgrounds, experience, study, and exposure to the complex issues is what drives our comments — not our emotions, or ego, or ‘desire to do something tangible’.

      C’mon people, it’s not about what YOU want to do!

      • Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        You’re obviously not going to dissuade him, so now your comments are really starting to come across as trolling. Don’t you have anything better to do?

  231. Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    “Maybe it’s not enough said. If you have better ideas or ways we can improve upon our idea, fire away.”

    Here’s a better idea: donate money to people who know what they are doing. Those people, incidentally, are the same people who will tell you that sending socks to Japan is a stupid idea. They will most likely tell you that doing nothing is a better idea for the time being.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      It’s not what they told us, Matt. Experts in disaster aid contacted me to express doubts about the effort, but then learned that we are not offering disorganized direct aid but rather a very organized supply of socks and letters that we can deliver directly to the field. Upon learning that, one of them wrote, “I think what you are doing is not as problematic as the other stuff” and then requested permission to study our data when we’re finished.

  232. Again, thank you!
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I think some of the reluctance among self-avowed aid experts to support giving to Japan relates to the fact that Japan is a rich country. They seem to resent the tremendous willingness in western countries to help Japan and also resent the attention the quake/tsunami/nuclear situation has received; it seems as though some of these self-superior aid experts view the news coverage as overblown in relation to the amount of attention given to issues in developing countries. They don’t seem to get that it’s human nature to feel more motivated to give to causes where the victims are more relatable. Rather than just accept the fact that many people are more willing to give during these kinds of crises and when they know exactly what kind of help or specific cause their donation is going to serve, the self-appointed, know-it-all aid experts, out of stubborn principle (they will say, “giving to organizations for specific events and short-term goals is always stupid, you buffoons, so DO NOT IT”), shamefully and stubbornly work to suppress the desire to donate to Japan, as we’ve seen in several articles so far. They twist quotes from news stories to suggest that the Japanese Red Cross actively discourages even cash donations, and they sarcastically belittle people like Jason as stupid. Newsflash: some people will only donate if they know exactly what cause their donation is going to serve. Deal with it. Go ahead and lament that fact all you want, but why discourage responsible, welcomed assistance to any recovery operation just because you think you know better where the money should be spent.

    Back to the specific topic of this website… the organizer of the Socks for Japan effort has thoroughly addressed the critics. Yes, as a general rule, sending a bunch of unsolicited goods to a disaster-stricken area in the immediate aftermath is something to avoid, but this Socks for Japan effort is clearly not some haphazardly organized operation. Its organizer has identified a need, checked to make sure his effort will not hinder any other aid operations and has stated many times that his aim is not to replace other kinds of giving. Given the careful, responsible way he has gone about organizing Socks for Japan, and considering his responses to the concerns that have been raised, the continued effort to demean his project is nothing short of a disgrace.

  233. Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    How do we help Japan?


    “All the usual good-giving-after-disaster guidelines apply to this disaster in Japan. Don’t send used – or new – stuff; giving money is always better than paying to ship goods.”

  234. Ema
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Sending socks is quite a novel idea and I get the WTF-ness of it all but its nice for the Japanese victims to feel that there are people out there who care about their well being directly. Socks may not be a lot but it’s also the thought that counts — knowing there are people out there who care. This whole crazy panic about the nuclear “apocalypse” seem to be “stealing the thunder” of the victims, those that really need the help and attention right now.

    He’s not trying to save the world with these socks, he just wants to lift the spirits of the victims.

  235. Eileen
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


    “it’s so cold here…”

    If people want to donate socks, let them. If you want to donate money, then donate.

  236. Brian
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    This is a terrible idea. You clearly know nothing about international aid and disaster relief efforts. Jason no offense, but you have no idea what you are doing and have zero qualifications for proclaiming that is is a good course of action. I strongly urge you to stop immediately.


    (I live in Tokyo by the way)

    • Rhonda
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink


      You obviously did not read any of the previous comments and responses Jason has given answering all these damn questions. If you go back a few pages of comments, you will see that he has talked and got permission from the right people, is following the right protocol and doing this in a smart, delicate manner.

      Ask questions before you judge him and this great organization. This goes for everyone!

  237. Christine
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I hope you are holding up well there – and thank you for your small part in the big effort to bring socks and some comfort to the survivors/victims that are still finding it hard to get through a day. Japan is facing a barrage of tragedies and this small token can make a big impact for some people.

    I hope everyone realises that this is not the time to be cynical, there is no need to judge what are “good” or “bad” contributions in this situation. Whatever that you want to give — be it socks or money or food — it should come from the heart.

    I am sending over socks soon, from friends, family and colleagues. Please take care of yourself and your fellow mates who are helping out too. Your effort will come a long way. I will pray for the Japanese.

    From Malaysia

    • Concerned.
      Posted March 18, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      It’s the perfect time to judge what is a good or bad contribution. When would you prefer? After the operation is complete?

      This isn’t a one-time discussion, this issue gets talked about at EVERY disaster. And that’s for a reason.

  238. Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your hard work on this, Jason! I think it is a great idea, especially for those of us living in the unaffected parts of Japan who can send mail relatively cheaply. I’ll be sending out some socks either this weekend or early next week.


  239. Gladys
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    How are you guys?
    50 Miles from the reactor… Are you safe?

    Please let us know.

    We send gratitude and we are sending letters and socks too!

    Blessings, take care,


    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:21 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Gladys. Rectilinearly (as the crow flies), Sano is 104 miles away and Tokyo is 132 miles away.

  240. Jenny
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this touching idea of sending minor comfort via socks and notes.

    I think it is especially relevant for families that want to help out, as children can write notes and send socks to children their age. As long as the post office can handle the shipments, and the volunteers aren’t getting in the way or using up their rations, I don’t see how there is any harm.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

  241. Tommie
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for doing this. I was interested to donate fleece blankets but this for me is more practical. I was able to visit Japan four times over the past few years and have always been awed by their presence in crowded situations.

    In all the news clips that I have seen everyone has been orderly and there was no looting or panic. They look after one another. I will be happy to take part and thanks again for organizing this. It will help. God bless all of Japan, they will recover but it will take time.

  242. Eido Inoue
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Please don’t do this.

    The authorities have specifically asked for individuals to not clog up the system and travel to that area, no matter how well intentioned or how close they are. They’re not trying to be mean or take all the credit or be bureaucratic. Distribution channels (including, yes, the post office) and travel routes are broken and under stress and priority needs to be given to the professional emergency teams.

    If the people of Ibaraki or anywhere else needs socks, I promise you the government will get them socks. And if they don’t have enough socks, they will then ask the public to donate socks.

    For a disaster of this scale, it’s important that everything remain coordinated and people follow official communication in the beginning. If Japan needs the help of the common man volunteer, they will ask. That will be your time to shine.

    In the meantime, you will, at best, accomplish little to nothing except for making yourself and your sock donors feel good. The worst case is you’ll will be a hindrance and an extra burden to the professional rescue workers and recognized volunteers, both domestic and foreign.

    I don’t mean to belittle your desire to help. Everyone wants to help. But I really don’t think you’ve thought through the big picture calculus regarding how much you’re actually contributing vs how much you’ll be simply getting in the way.

    For those that REALLY want to help, consider donating to a legit Japan related charity like the Japanese Red Cross, Unicef, or Save the Children.

    • Don Fey
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you mean well- by trying to decide what others should do. But you sound like a person who has never been in a disaster; never seen the confusion and disorganization of government and large institutions that have great difficulty getting themselves geared to the job, seen their very poor ability to cover all the ground, leaving a lot overlooked or waiting in desperate need. I’ve been part of such an organization and seen them virtually paralyzed arguing over how to do something instead of just doing it. In the meantime, people are in need- and only local and immediate help can reach them. I’ve also been close behind a tornado as a local individual jumping in to help, and in a few other places like it. That kind of help IS more effective, and much more personal- direct help, no waiting. And the only thing it harmed in terms of the “professional” teams was their egos. Don’t argue about who’s helping and if they are doing it in the way you agree with- just help. It will all work out.

    • Trish
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Mr. Inoue, are you on the ground in Japan? Do you know for a fact that private aid is being discouraged or have you made your comments because in your opinion it makes sense that sending socks to an individual for distribution might be a hindrance rather than a help? I can see both sides of the comments on this page and am torn as to whether or not to send socks.

      • Posted March 17, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Hi Trish. Yes, I’m in Japan. I didn’t say private aid is discouraged. I said travel into the disaster areas by individuals is highly discouraged at this moment. This isn’t my individual opinion. This is the official plea from the Japanese government.

        And it’s not just because it’s dangerous. It’s because the distribution resource network is strained. People are doing their part by conserving: not using electricity to avoid stressing the partially operating electrical grid. Where we’re running into problems is where people are acting selfishly by hoarding (which has caused a shortage of onigiri, milk and eggs and toilet papers even in relatively unaffected areas like Tōkyō) and people travelling unnecessarily; there is a 20 liter gasoline limit per car per station even in places as far, far away from the action like Shizuoka.

        To answer Don Fry: I was in the Great Hanshin earthquake in ’95. Fortunately I was far away from the epicenter (I was in Ōsaka). The only thing bad that happened to me was my apartment got trashed and I had to walk to work for a few days while the rail systems were reset.

        But in my many trips to visit friends and family in the affected Kōbe, I did get to see good volunteers and bad volunteers in action. And by “bad volunteers,” I mean the type that just did something more to make themselves feel better as individuals rather than work with the established group. They set up a soup line. Yes, they fed a few people (It look like about fifty people). And there was lots of picture taking and back slapping and “job well done!” praises to go around at the end of the day. What they didn’t know is earlier in the day the real soup was around the block, and that one fed hundreds (too many for me to count) of people. I remember how the government had to reassign a few of its people, which were probably doing something far more important I’m sure, to help these volunteers block off space for their table, set up their gas table, and get word out that they too were offering food (they weren’t told that the real food line had just finished). Many of those who ate from that volunteer food line were government aid people (who had no difficulty getting a real meal) and not those affected or displaced by the quake. I think they felt sorry for the group and wanted to make them feel useful. In the end, no harm was done to anybody, except for perhaps the couple of government workers who were taken off their real jobs to assist the grass-roots effort. The grass-roots effort felt good, the government workers were polite and thanked them for their efforts, but in the end, they did little but suck time and other people’s resources.

        It’s the height of arrogance when you have both the Japanese government and individual Japanese on your site’s comment section pleading with you to please not do this, and you’re going through with this anyway. Jason Kelly has already admitted in the comments that he doesn’t have any experience when it comes to aid work.

        Admit it: the real reason you want to do this is because giving money feels impersonal: you want to give something tangible because that makes you feel like you’ve made a bigger impact than those who wrote a check, not knowing exactly how their money is being used.

        In the end, all I can say to Jason and his group is: obviously I can’t stop you, so please try to stay out of the way. Also, try not to use any electricity or fuel, which is scarce right now and needed by emergency vehicles. Pease bicycle to the area. Let’s hope that just around the corner there isn’t another group that is already distributing clothes. Especially socks.

        For people in Japan that want to make an individual, non-monetary, personal contribution, please consider giving blood instead of doing something like this.

        To everybody else reading this: please consider contributing to the Japan via an established group like the Japanese Red Cross. Your money WILL be put to good use and you will help people far more than by randomly distributing socks.

        • Diane Davies
          Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink


          Thank you for your comments and your concern. I, and many others who are participating in “Socks for Japan” have already contributed to the Red Cross (or other relief organizations). Jason’s project IS intended to work with those organizations, not get in their way. I know Jason to be a thoughtful, organized and careful person who is good at managment. This project is NOT about solving Japan’s problems. We are not the Red Cross or the US Navy, nor do we intend to do their job. It is about people from around the world reaching across the ocean to send an item and a note of comfort to people in Japan who have lost everything. (How do you think these people would feel if they knew you are saying, “Don’t do that!”) If rebuilding starts with a pair of socks for someone who has lost everything, it is at least something.

          Jason has done advance research into this and has found (1) people ARE asking for socks (and underwear), which are not provided by the other agencies or the US Navy – who are busy providing primary support of food, blankets and water – or the Japanese government, which is justifiably preoccupied with a pressing nuclear issue; and (2) the people in the 1995 earthquake DID appreciate getting notes of comfort from others – it became one of their most cherished gifts.

          Jason lives in Sano, and has gotten a positive response from the community about this project. I do not believe this will be an effort that is wasted or unappreciated by the people who receive a pair of socks with a note that tells them that they are in our thoughts and our prayers. Rest assured, he intends to, and will, cooperate with the relief agencies, as you suggest, to make the most of the resources that are available.

        • Hello
          Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Dear Eido, thank you for your input and hope your words will knock some sense in Jason’s mind. I am sure Jason means well and wants to show his genuine sympathy for the victims of the disaster, however i could not agree with you more.

        • Posted March 18, 2011 at 2:28 am | Permalink

          The Ibaragi Prefectural Office likes our operation and is eager to work with us. The Japanese government has a lot on its hands. That’s why the criticisms of gaps in aid are growing angrier by the day. Remember, we’re not competing with larger outfits for the provision of primary aid. We’re delivering comfort for feet and cheer for hearts — efficiently, without hampering other efforts.

  243. Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    why are people fighting? we are suppost to be helping. if you have a probem with socks descreatly send something else. God wants us to all be happy and healthy and wants us to love one another in this istuation it doesnt matter whos who or who does this or that just put a smile on your face love in your hearts and help if you can even a simple prayer is help. God bless everyone.

  244. Manuelita
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    True, socks are one thing that people do not think of, clothing, food, shelter…. but there is nothing like the feel of a clean, dry pair of socks. From years and years of helping with boy scouts I know that is the one thing we always stress with the boys, clean dry socks will keep you warm on a cold night, keep desease away from your feet, clean and healthy feet will keep you walking, working and moving. I will be sending mine!!

  245. Lex Wodtke
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I just ordered socks from Hanes on-line (free shipping to US over $50). Hope to slap on a new shipping label when they arrive. “E-Z Squeezy” as my granddaughter would say.

  246. Juan
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    First of all, I would like to offer you my sincere condolences for the current situation in Japan.
    Myself and my wife would like to offer free accommodation in Spain to japanese people that might be in need of somewhere to go.
    We could collect them from the airport and provide free accomodation in our house in Madrid, we speak English, Spanish, German and have knowledge of Japanese.
    email: shadow70625@yahoo.com

  247. Joules
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:36 am | Permalink


    It is a fantastic thing you are doing and my family looks forward to being able to help get socks to the victims of these horrible events. I’m so sorry you have had so many individuals feel the need to soil your efforts with their negativity. There are many NGOs that specify in food, clothing, shelters or medical help. I’ve worked for several of them over the years. One of the things that a lot of them do forget about is clean socks. Money is great to donate however this is a tangible item that people can honestly feel like they are doing something that that can see, it is a way to know exactly what your efforts are going towards. I personally applaud this effort for its simple approach to a basic need. Thank you for helping those wonderful people.

    • Concerned.
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      “Money is great to donate however this is a tangible item that people can honestly feel like they are doing something that that can see, it is a way to know exactly what your efforts are going towards.”

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. Giving socks is about you feeling better about the donation.

      • Mars
        Posted March 23, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Wrong! It’s knowing what you donated isn’t tied up in governmental/bureaucratic red tape getting sucked into some administrative black hole.

  248. SMOJ
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    People will always find a way to criticize the well intended. I donated money, and I will be sending socks soon. Take care, be safe, and continue to make a difference. I hope you post pictures when you have a chance.

    Sarah from Boston, MA

  249. Carly
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Unbelievable. I’m having a hard time trying to understand the negative reactions of other people to this effort and how people are continuously misinterpreting the information that Jason is sharing with us.

    To compare 1 Million Shirts to this is like comparing apples to oranges. 1millionshirts.org was founded to SELL shirts to AFRICA. Not in the wake of a devastating natural disaster, not to give items to people who now own nothing in the world – to sell shirts to orphanages who requested them. Socks for Japan is not a relief effort designed to inundate the Japanese market with socks, destroy the national economy, flood the country with unwanted goods, create piles of garbage, or clog the local postal routes. 1millionshirts was designed by a Florida businessman IN FLORIDA, not by a half-Japanese man who speaks the language and lives in an area close to the devastation. Will the influx of socks have a negative effect on Japan’s economy??? Really? People are complaining about that as opposed to the 17 tons of food and provisions that just arrived with Operation Tomodachi?

    To link to an article written by a high school student who attempted to volunteer in one of the survivor centers after the Kobe quote is AGAIN comparing apples and oranges. Jason isn’t 17, he isn’t just showing up at a survivor center with a bunch of his friends…he is carefully and deliberately going about setting up and organization, volunteers, and distribution channels in order to get socks to those who WANT THEM. Note: people are asking for them. Asking for socks! And the high school student in the article linked above later wrote himself that his efforts failed since he and his friends had no ability to manage people and resources, which was most critical at that time. Well, Jason DOES have this ability and is managing the operation from outside the camps – where the post office is still delivering – a critical point that many people seem to misunderstand or gloss over.

    People in the are ASKING for socks. It’s not like Jason just sat down to think one day and hit on a random object to give people that he thought would make a difference, nor is he discounting/negating the work of other aid organizations and relief efforts in the area. How many pairs of socks can a person have? I have 10. Even if they get so many socks that they have to start handing out 2, or 3, or 7 pairs a person…how is that bad? How can people halfway around the world pompously suggest this is an either/or proposal, that they know what people in the survivor camps want most, that someone adding some additional relief should instead do nothing at all and leave relief in general to everyone else, that Jason’s efforts should instead be directed to something else? What, people? Collecting power generators? Collecting donated blankets? Collected and handing out hot meals?

    It’s the sentiment of support and caring from someone unknown and far away, perhaps even more important than the usefulness of a pair of socks, that’s the crux of this effort. If you do not want to express sympathy and caring directly to someone to provide (“paling in comparison to saving lives,” as many suggest) COMFORT, then just DON’T.

    As one complainant put it, people who are not experienced in aid organizations have no ability to gauge real need should not get involved.

  250. Hiraku Matsui
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    We don’t need socks.
    It surely becomes garbage.
    It hinders the transportation of a surely necessary goods.

    Please send money or army, not socks.

    Anyway thank you for being interested in Japan.
    from Japan.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Some do need socks. People have already held signs up toward news cameras asking for underwear and socks. Our socks will not “become garbage” unless the people we hand them to remain victims for so long that they wear out the pair of socks we give them. In that case, we’d hope to provide them with another.

      You’re right about the money and the military aid, though. They are, indeed, primary means of support and we will not get in their way.

      I wish you well through this, my friend. Contact me directly if there’s any way I can help. If you end up leaving a voice message, be sure to provide several ways for me to get back to you.

      • Concerned.
        Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        How are you identifying the most vulnerable in communities? How will you find the small children and elderly people?

  251. patrick taylor
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    There does seem to be someone, or possbly several people upset with the piece and unstinting in their efforts. The title does grab attention – that is the best that can be said.

    As for the concept I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. I did of course look at the 1millionshirts.org site to see what misdirected campaigns can do. The shipping costs for socks to Japan are not cheap either.

    Giving to a long-term charity is better than knee-jerk reactions to the latest videod media program filling disaster.

  252. James
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow, some people are just cynical toward everything I guess. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw this idea from Jason. This isn’t even really about the socks, people! If I can just warm the heart of one survivor for one second with one pair of socks I will feel it has been worth it. My socks will be mailed later today, Jason — keep up the great work!

  253. Thank You
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s disappointing to see the negative comments here written by elitist snobs who fancy themselves “aid experts” and who think they know better than others. Eileen and Jason, thank you for responding to these clueless, arrogant people who wrongly believe they know what’s best for everyone. Jason has perfectly explained how and why this donation effort will be no burden to any other existing aid efforts, and he has also explained why his very laudable effort is in no way meant as a substitute for other kinds of giving. It seems that Jason is in a perfect position to do something meaningful to help the Japanese victims of the tsunami, and he is going about things in a responsible fashion. I plan to mail three boxes of new socks from California. Jason, thank you for your effort!

  254. Consider this...
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’ve been thinking this out farther and farther since first learning of, and participating, in this effort, and to those of you feeling it’s something of a silly idea or of limited or little value — just sending some socks — take a minute and consider this:

    #1- It is winter in Japan, and in a disaster survival often means you “make do with what you have.” Well, if you think about it, socks are one of the most versatile items of clothing you could have; they can double as mittens, you can use one as a washcloth, or a small bag — say to hold a few precious items you still have, or to carry a few cans of food. You could even share them with a pet, making a warm pouch to comfort the kitten or puppy with you who’s also traumatized.

    #2- Socks aren’t generators or food. What I mean here is that socks will lack all the barriers/problems that sending many other items would involve or be up against; they’re not so expensive an item as to strongly limit who can afford to participate, they’re small enough that they can be sent in the mail without being disruptive (you can stuff a lot of socks into a 12-inch square box), they’re not so heavy as to need equipment to unload them, they’re not perishable, and they’re not in cans where you have to hope everyone also thought to grab a can opener as they fled to escape danger.

    #3- As Jason mentioned, putting that little note inside, carrying a simple message from the heart, even just a few words, can right now mean the world to someone who may have been left with nothing….just to know that somebody out there cares….someone somewhere on the planet is glad that you have survived….and cared enough to want you to know it, too, because it might help boost your spirits a little. Trust me, I know a little of what I speak here.

    #4- Simplicity for all. Every time there’s a disaster and assistance has arrived and is distributing supplies, etc. how many times can you recall hearing on a TV report about people who have stood waiting in long lines only to eventually find that what they were in particular need of was either already gone or not there in the first place? By Jason’s keeping this very basic, he’s also helping those in need to avoid those long, fruitless queues; if the sign says “Get a clean pair of socks here”, you’ll not get in this line when you’re looking for toilet paper.

    I’m sure there aren’t many other ways to help where when you think about them maybe they’re not such screwball ideas after all; these thoughts are just to get you started.

    Like so many of us, I just witnessed from the comfort and safety of my nice, warm, and far-removed home, probably the most horrific and unsettling disaster imagery I have ever seen, or want to see, in my life. I doubt that I will ever forget many of these, like watching as cars and boats were swept over a sea wall and suddenly catching glimpse of a woman, trapped in one of those cars, beating on the rear window as it rolled over the wall before disappearing below the surface.

    But, you know what stands out to me above all else, and which I’ll also carry with me for life? The grace and quiet courage this ordeal was met with, and the self-respect and respect for one another displayed by the Japanese people. That, in my book, was really very “humbling” and should serve as inspiration to others around the world. And it earns my deepest respect for what they have been through.

    David F

  255. Shazmin Shamsuddin
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    God bless you all.

    Every little bit helps. It really does.

    Our socks are on the way!

  256. Patrick
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I have known Jason for going on 20 years. He does not undertake things like this without doing the needed research. So he knows that this program can be done. But what I am reading from all the negative comments is that because he is not a disaster aid professional he does not know what he is doing and his efforts could be better spent elsewhere.

    His intentions are noble. He is not trying to provide major aid to the victims of this tragedy. He is leaving that up to the professionals as many of you suggest. All he is trying to do is make people’s life who have lost everything a little more tolerable. This is something that makes their life a little less uncomfortable. The major relief organizations will not do the little things like this. They are there to take care of the major problems.

    Those of us who have experienced cold wet feet (and that is every one of us) knows how nice it is put be able to put on a pair of clean, warm dry socks. It makes our life just that little bit better. And that is all he is trying to do.

    • Shazmin
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Well said! I don’t know Jason at all, but I believe his heart’s in the right place. That much is clear. And I myself hate having cold feet…

    • Concerned
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure Jason is a top bloke.
      Good intentions are not enough.

      Google “1 million shirts” to learn more about why your good idea is perhaps not a great idea.

      All the best Jason, really. Please contact other local responding agencies in your area to check you’re not duplicating efforts, and work with them if you can.

  257. Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t even finish reading the comments on here; I can’t believe people are actually raising their eyebrows as to why socks were chosen for this.

    First – I’m pretty sure Jason knows mail cannot be sent into the disaster zone. Except, he already stated – you are not sending these socks to said disaster zone.

    When you lose everything you own, it does NOT matter what people around the world send. Anything is everything.

    So many Japanese people woke up that day thinking it was another normal morning – breakfast on the table, pillows on their bed, socks on their feet. Then their entire lives were swept away. And now, there’s those that didn’t experience the earthquake & tsunami, who most likely have our houses still standing and our cars in our driveways.

    On top of all the mental & emotional stress, a pair of socks to warm up some cold feet will at LEAST help them physically. The same exact feet that helped them run for dear life.

    With that aside – I completely support this. I personally will be sending socks & notes soon. I also run a fashion DIY blog that has readers from all over the world, so I’m going to use that to promote this; I just posted it a little while ago.

  258. Jane
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason, I came back to your website tonight because someone linked to a post I did (above). I know you mean well. But please listen to what people are trying to tell you. There is a reason people cannot send mail into the disaster zone- they need to prioritize urgent needs and access for experts.

    I am going to share a very good post with you by a Japanese person who decided to “help out” after the Kobe earthquake. Please read it. And please reconsider what you are doing. People are paying attention to you. That can be a good thing. You can provide some sound advice based on what you learn from reading what the Japanese government, Japanese people, aid experts, and fellow gaijin are saying. Gambatte! http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/03/15/japan-waiting-for-the-right-moment-to-help/

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      We’re not in the disaster zone. That’s key here. We’re on the periphery and can receive mail without interrupting primary relief efforts.

  259. Rhonda
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink


    Thank you for responding to these comments. I want to apologize on the behalf of these rude, inconsiderate people here. Thank you again for your efforts, you have inspired me and I’m sure so many others, in many ways! Keep up the good work!! Wish I can be there to help collect and distribute the socks, though I am there in spirit! 🙂

    • Concerned.
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      You say “rude” and “inconsiderate”, I say “informed”.

      Jason Kelly is not an aid worker. He is not experienced in effective aid relief, assessment, or implementation. Aid is a professional industry. You don’t “volunteer” to build a skyscraper if you’re a hairdresser by trade.

      Square Peg. Round Hole.

      Please don’t take these comments as rude – I get your intentions – I totally do. But there are much better, proven effective ways of doing this. Gifts in Kind in Emergencies are a disaster in themselves.

      • Eileen
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        I honestly don’t understand where all this negativity is coming from. If you don’t want to donate socks, then don’t.

      • Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        I’m getting on-the-job training in effective aid relief faster than you can believe.

        Gifts-in-kind are only a “disaster in themselves” when they arrive piecemeal from many different sources, unorganized, and demanding labor on the part of busy aid organizations. Ours won’t be that way. We are collecting only one type of item, sorting and labeling them, and then offering either a contribution to a larger effort in some cases or direct delivery to the field in other cases.

        This type of direct aid is bad: “I have an extra coat, some shoes, and a few kitchen utensils. Where do I drop them off?”

        This type of direct aid is good: “We’ve collected 5,000 pairs of men’s socks sorted into individual packages, one pair per plastic bag with an enclosed note of support. We can deliver them to you for distribution by your team, or distribute them ourselves to wherever you tell us to go.”

        We’re providing the good type.

        • Concerned.
          Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Yep ok. We disagree. I’d like to see you run that theory by established aid orgs.

  260. Mail Service Update
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The following statement regarding delivery service in Japan was released today, 3/15, by the USPS:
    Due to the massive earthquake that occurred in Japan March 12 that has affected mail delivery in the northern areas of the country — including the cities of Sapporo and Sendai — the Japan Postal Service Co., Ltd. is declaring a force majeure. All inbound and outbound mail flows addressed in the following area have been affected. The offices of exchange are still operational but will not deliver mail from or to in many areas of the country, including Hokkaido, Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima and Ibaraki. Postal delays also may occur in other areas due to diverted flights and worsening domestic traffic situations. Japan Post Service Co., Ltd. will keep designated operators informed of the situation.

    Tochigi is not among the areas listed where mail service/delivery has been suspended.

    You can check http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm for any status changes; the information there is updated daily.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Correct, and notice that where we are in Tochigi is about as close as you can get to the disaster zone and still receive regular mail. Please see our map above. That fact is what sparked our idea to use our office as a hub.

  261. Anastasia
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink


    The major problem in Japan right now is transportation.
    Sending anything to Japan at this point would just put additional burden to the system and cause even greater confusion.

    Other parts of Japan, which are not affected by Tsunami and earthquake, have enough supplies including socks. However, it is very difficult to send them to the places where they are needed. I doubt that your socks sent from other countries would arrive to the place where they are needed in timely fashion. If it is possible to send things, don’t you think Japanese people are doing that already? Not entire Japan is affected and there are enough socks in western Japan for sure.

    I hope you are promoting this out of good will not trying to sabotage Japan at the time of crises.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Our intentions are good. We want to help.

      Please read the info page above. We realize that Japan has the supplies it needs, but others want to help and we’ve been told by the postal service that our program is not interrupting any other vital delivery duties. Mail is being delivered where we’re located. We made sure of that before starting this idea.

      As for Japanese people sending socks, we’re not asking them to do so unless they live outside of Japan. Our info page in Japanese explains that. In-country Japanese should work with in-country aid teams.

      We’re providing another base camp to collect and distribute one single good: socks from around the world. Everybody needs socks and they won’t spoil if it takes longer than hoped to get them into the field.

    • Eileen
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I have friends in TOKYO who are emailing me about the shortage of food, clothing, AND supplies…I can only imagine how other towns and villages (that were severely affect by the tsunami/earthquake) are doing on supplies.

      Not to mention how cold it is in Japan right now! Socks are thin and not voluminous! They can most definitely provide a brief moment of comfort to the victims.

      • Dianne
        Posted March 20, 2011 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        I’m a little ways north of Tokyo and two days ago yes, we were seeing empty shelves. Yesterday and today however, it is a very different story. Things were very disrupted for a few days and there was a bit of panic buying which didn’t help. This evening I stopped into a supermarket that closed down for remodeling on the 12th. On the 12th, EVERY shelf was bare or close to. They reopened yesterday and the shelves are brimming! The only thing that wasn’t in stock was milk. “But that is not Tokyo!” , well no, it’s not, but my husband works in Tokyo and while we still had empty shelves here he was coming home saying that whereever he went there was plenty of food to be found.

        Do not underestimate this country when it comes to getting the job done. In Kobe, post earthquake, the courier services were getting into stricken areas long before road systems were back to “normal”.

  262. Concerned.
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Appreciate your intentions here, but you will more than likely wind up doing more bad than good. Your project is about you doing what *you* feel is best. It’s about *you* wanting to “help” the “victims” and feeling like you’ve done something. Not about looking comprehensively at issues of aid relief, doing assessments and implementing the most appropriate efforts. The biggest relief NGOs in the world are, on the whole, holding off on responding fully until the government asks and indicates what they need support with.

    I would suggest you read up on what the experts are saying. In the same way that non-engineers should not design and build buildings, those not in the Aid industry should not organise aid distributions.
    Here’s a good place to start.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      While the world watches and waits, we’re gathering socks. When the call is given to go in, guess who’s going to have thousands of pairs of high-quality socks right on the periphery of the disaster zone, sorted, grouped, attached to notes of care, and ready to go? We are.

      If for some reason the call goes out that under no circumstances should clean socks and notes of concern be delivered to victims, we’ll find another worthy cause to support such as the many homeless people who might end up forgotten by the NGOs and other large organizations.

      • Concerned.
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        “If for some reason the call goes out that under no circumstances should clean socks and notes of concern be delivered to victims, we’ll find another worthy cause to support …”

        It doesn’t work like that.

        All of this momentum you’re building, all this airtime you’re getting, could be channeled into a huge financial appeal – imagine all the goods that could be procured IN-COUNTRY with that money – supporting Japan’s economy as it belly flops right now. Sending money (to the right places) is always better, more effective in both short and long term, than sending goods. Otherwise, Red Cross would have an entire unit dedicated to “stuff” like socks. Yes they’re comforting. Everyone loves a good pair of fluffy socks, especially when you have none. But energy/money/resources spent on getting the socks could be much better spent on giving cash to local/int’l responding agencies to put food in the mouths of people, and shelter over them during the snow.

        I’d rather have cold feet than an empty stomach.

        • Eileen
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Why can’t you do both? Organizations and countries are POURING money into relief fund. There’s MSF, Redcross, UNICEF, and a myriad more. The citizens of Korea, especially celebrities, are donating MILLIONS of dollars to Japan and many Japanese fashion designers are too.

          I donated money and didn’t feel satisfied so decided to do send socks as well. A letter and a pair of socks won’t kill anyone…it can only do more good than harm 🙂 compassion is the only thing that can ease suffering.

          • Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            That’s right. We’re aiming for an additional means of support for well-wishers, and our team here is making sure that our effort creates a net positive.

  263. Sarah DuVal
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Has anyone had a problem shipping UPS from the US? Our 10 pound package just got returned to shipper due to natural disaster (duh). If you have been successful, any suggestions would be appreciated.


  264. David Fey
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I’ll try and keep this brief- it deserves nothing more: Gabe- As to qualification, he’s there, you’re obviously not, for starters. And as for shipping, I’m not spending your dime, I’m not cutting into your tax dollar, and sometimes the circumstances mean you simply “do what ya gotta do”; what’s your solution- stuff socks in a bottle and throw them off the Santa Monica Pier? I’ve spoken to a couple US Postal officials today, there’s no problem with the shipping, and they would love nothing more than to be able to offer discounted rates for aid packages going to Japan, however that takes an “Act of Congress”, literally, so you know where that gets us. But, they did suggest that I test rates for various size & weight packages, and there are ways to get “more for your dollar”; I’m sending close to 20lbs. by Priority Mail and it’s coming in at only a few cents over $5 per pound. Sure, if you’re only sending 1 or two pair of socks the price will be “inordinate”. The solution isn’t not to send- it’s either opening your wallet a bit more or making it a group effort and get friends to chip in. Otherwise, don’t knock it.

    Shay, you link to an article which in part attempts to make the argument of “the devastated area is just a small part of Japan”. Well, London is just a “small” part of the UK, and the United States is just a “small” part of the world; it doesn’t make this situation any less deserving. And by your remarks you have only demonstrated how “small” your mind is.

  265. NiK
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason. Thank you for doing this and setting up this site to give us folks in the States a chance to pitch in. Its hard when we are so far and we feel helpless and lost on how we can help.

    I am mobilizing my friends here in Los Angeles, and am going to have a Socks for Japan drive tomorrow night.

    However, I also am going to try to do a separate drive where we can collect masks, diapers and what not as I’m sure those are also in need particularly in the areas where they are close to radiation.

    Could you provide some guidance on who I can contact to coordinate?

    Thank you again for all you are doing. It is sad that anyone can thing doing anything even as simple as sending socks can be a waste of time or “unnecessary.” It is the very sort of little things in times of crisis that helps provide hope, and spirit. There is no such thing as waste of time when people are dying and desperate. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.


    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Thank you, NiK. I’m happy to have you participating, and agree with your sentiments. As for other direct-aid operations, I don’t know and can’t easily check. Our hands are full with this one. Maybe somebody else can post info in a reply here.

  266. Don Fet
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    A couple of the comments above reflect the reasons the world is so troubled now. Aside from the nearsighted words above, readers here should consider a few other things.

    First- While Japan is a sophisticated country, the entire country is no larger than California. The devastation is huge; more comparable to having several states of the US destroyed at once. There are 10’s of thousands of people who have nothing left but the clothes on their backs, and no hope of recovering anything from homes that no longer exist… not to mention members of their families who may never even be found.

    The Japanese are a resilient and industrious people. They will hit the street running, doing all they can to rescue and rebuild. In the US, we have people who were caught in the Katrina hurricane that are still waiting for someone to come down and deliver a new life. When you help those who won’t help themselves you perpetuate dependency. When you help those who are self reliant and will help themselves but are in desperate need, it restores independence. It’s seen as a gift- not an obligation, and it’s appreciated. Honor and respect are a way of life in Japan, but they are more of a marketing ploy in the USA. Unfortunately we cannot import those qualities, and we are severely lacking them.

    Why socks? Why not? The Japanese are meticulous about feet, shoes and foot care. This will matter to them far more than it would to an American. In addition, Jason is trying to do this with the resources he has. No warehouses, just a small office and a home. No big staff, just himself and a few volunteers. They can process this level of support within those limitations, and still provide some genuine and appreciated help. Unlike the whiners who would complain here, they will be appreciate support they can get. I shipped 140 pairs of socks to Jason this morning. Another 150 are being shipped tomorrow by others I know.

    Should you still think it’s a poor idea, there is a solution- just send a couple hundred bucks to the Red Cross, earmarked for Japan. I’ve donated there too.

    If you won’t send material goods and you won’t send money- I don’t think you have any room to comment except to apologize for yourself.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      you just managed to offend an entire nation of people with your comment ‘The Japanese are meticulous about feet, shoes and foot care.’

      and unfortunately, good intentions are not enough. you never judge your doctor, the engineers that designed the quake resistant buildings, or your accountant by their intentions, no judge them by the performance of their job. and years of experience of professionals in the humanitarian response field show us that gift in kind (which is what these socks are classified as) is never as effective as cash.

      it’s a bad idea and anyone blinded by their own ‘compassion’ or ‘intentions’ or investment in a project has lost sight of the the real reason you are doing this – to be helpful to those affected by tragedy.

      • Don Fey
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the comment offended you- but hardly a nation. To the best of my knowledge it is true, and certainly not disparaging.

        The effectiveness of gifts is dependent on the way they are handled. With the exception of a few agencies, much of the cash given to crisis aid winds up in hands that have no need- just greed. Much of the goods that are given wind up being sold to the people who they were intended for or black-marketed elsewhere. WHO you are giving the contribution to is as important as the gift, for it will not be helpful in the wrong hands. I have zero concerns in this case- I have total confidence that everything sent to Jason will be reliably and properly distributed to those in genuine need. 100% effective with no overhead expense taken out.

        So much criticism comes from those who are often not helping at all, but are ready to tell others who are what to do with their money and what is wrong with their judgment. I don’t know where you come from- but while the name would appear Asian, the attitude is American. It’s unfortunate that you see compassion as a blinding force, as that sounds like you disapprove of anyone helping in a way that doesn’t have your personal approval, something America is known for. The examples of American disrespect and arrogance continue to shine brightly for the world to see- and most of the time our help has a price of one kind or another. You help your way, I will help mine; no price attached.

      • R H Peters
        Posted March 20, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        I totally agree. Jason clearly is driven by emotion over fact, so, it doesn’t matter if he’s an amateur here or in the investment book business, because it makes him *feel* that he’s doing a good thing. (Thanks Jason, I’m $20,000 in the hole for following your advice. What about my *feelings* about that, huh?! When I brought up your bad advice to you, you attacked me and blamed *me*!)

        So much for feelings. I guess I’m not allowed any. Just Jason, and the people with “tears in their eyes”.

        Fact: ALL THE MONEY BEING SPENT ON POSTAGE is poor use of $$$ and could go to Red Cross instead.

        And I have a QUESTION FOR JASON:

        All those socks people have sent in – what is their total replacement value? Okay, now take that figure, and you know what?? I think you’re rich enough that to spend that at your local Japanese SEARS store to buy the same quantity/quality socks, would not be a big dent in your wallet. Then you could silently donate them to relief efforts for delivery to those who need.

        You would: (1) accomplish the same thing, (2) at less cost because there would be no wasted $$$ on all the postage people paid (and wasted) cumulatively, to get socks to you.

        But that’s a bad solution, right?? Yeah, because it doesn’t give you a whole lot of positive, free publicity. And, it doesn’t get an army of people rushing to their post offices to feel *good* about themselves, and to feel good about *you*! (Which in turn, glorfies your self-image.)

        Hmm … how do we *solve* that problem? I know!: Make it more than about just the socks. Add “care notes”. Yeah! (That way, just buying the socks at SEARS and being silent about the entire deal won’t work – ’cause, where are the care notes then? Yeah, we need all those people to send in original care note messages, so we can involve them legitimately that way, to make this whole idea of everybody *feeling good* work!)

        Buy the damn socks yourself, Jason! You’ve got the $$, I know you do. Then you could do a good thing (donate the socks), without forfeiting the $$ on wasted postate, instead going toward more socks. And then you would be really respected, but alas! – not by the numbers and throngs you *want* to be, and not in the same way, either. (It seems you need the performance stage, and the spotlight, more than anything else.)

        Free publicity and strokes on the “Jason Feel-Good Train”.

        People, don’ t waste your time attacking *me* for this post. Just continue doing what you’ve already demonstrated you have compulsion to do … Finding a way to give yourself delusion that you are effectively helping others in time of need, to make yourself feel good about yourself that you did a “right” thing – something *unquestionably* right because your positive feelings from doing it tell you that is so. (After all, didn’t the lady have “tears in her eyes” when Jason gave her that pair of socks?)

        • Kevin Boyle
          Posted March 23, 2011 at 3:46 am | Permalink

          Wow you’re a douche.

        • Carol
          Posted March 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          You are so negative.. I feel sorry for anyone close to you because obviously you have no warmth about you to give to anyone else. What Jason is doing is a good idea and your negativity is not wanted. Is it so hard for you to accept the fact that someone is trying to good for people who need it? As someone stated earlier, most of those people lost everything except the clothes on their backs, so sending them a pair of socks with a care not is not a waste of funds. People are sending socks and paying the postage and don’t feel like they are wasting their money. Keep your negativity to yourself, no one wants to hear it..

    • Eileen
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      I am Korean and have spent months in Japan (most recently in January 2010) and yes, the Japanese, like many Asian cultures, are “very meticulous about feet, shoes, and foot care.” This sensitivity on feet traces back all the way to when dynasties still existed. Growing up I learned it was rude to be bare foot in front of elders. I do not find this comment above offensive at all–it states the truth.

      Moreover, I look forward to contributing to Socks for Japan!

  267. Coco
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:47 am | Permalink
  268. Rhonda
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I think this is a great idea, despite what a few comments have said. SOCKS FOR JAPAN, keep up the good work, your intentions are great, and don’t listen to people who are putting you down (they are cowards).

    Good luck and socks will soon be coming your way!!!!!!!!

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Thank you. The Japanese around here agree. A strong woman I know, a community leader I’ve never seen emotional before, got tears in her eyes when I explained the program and she asked me to express her gratitude to everybody pitching in.

      • R H Peters
        Posted March 20, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        I notice that anyone on this board is critical of this effort, is vilified as being a “negative”, “mean” person with a bad attitude.

        Yes that’s right. The world can easily be divided between all the GOOD people (like *you* and Jason, King of Good), and then all the other spoilsports who are so obviously rotten, and perplexing too, because they just seem to wanna be negative creeps.


        • Ari
          Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Dear R.H. Peters,

          Pathetic excuse for a human.

          Don’t you have something else to do? Don’t you have someone else to mock?

  269. Felix T. Katt
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    This is a ridiculous idea. Enough said.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Maybe it’s not enough said. If you have better ideas or ways we can improve upon our idea, fire away. Between rolling blackouts and continuing aftershocks, we’ll be sure to consider them.

      • Lisa
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        This is a great idea, and hope you won’t be dissuaded by the negative comments. There is need all over this world every single day. We each decide who to help, when to help, and how to help. The important thing is that we help. Judging and criticizing how others choose to help is of no help at all. If you do not want to send socks, don’t send them. Socks on the way!!

    • jon
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I have a feeling you’re Felix Salmon. And I am even more convinced you’re an enormous douche bag.

  270. Shay
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink


    Tell me, if there are countries with on-going, prolonged strife in ways people of developed countries cannot even fathom in their daily lives-people and children suffering who’ve probably never even faced the concept of a sock- why do you choose to put efforts (ridiculous as they are) to Japan, one of the most developed countries in the world- which, by the way, faced the earthquakes with the efficiency of a well-wired computer?
    This is not only unnecessary, but somewhat offensive, I’m sure.


    Take this sort of enthusiasm, and use it on countries that actually require it.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Please read the info page. We realize we’re not providing primary support.

      Survivors of the Kobe quake say with tears in their eyes that they remember receiving a care note during the crisis. If a pair of socks comes with it, what’s the harm? We’re being careful not to overwhelm emergency crews by creating our own volunteer force of people who can’t leave the local area to help in the disaster zone. We’re also making it clear that this is an additional way to support, not a replacement method.

      As for using our enthusiasm on “countries that require it,” the devastation here requires all of our enthusiasm. We’ll continue directing it, and are thankful to others for joining us.

      • R H Peters
        Posted March 20, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        You stated: “Survivors of the Kobe quake say with tears in their eyes that they remember receiving a care note during the crisis. If a pair of socks comes with it, what’s the harm?”

        It seems then, you would approve of delivering “care notes” only, due to their proven benefit – *without* the socks. Which is absurd. (D’ya think?)

        AND, did you ever stop and think, what people say was important to them regarding an event they are now well-distanced and safe from in both time and space, might reflect what is going on in them at the time of their saying it, changed by whomever they are reminiscing to, and not necessarily reflect the actual/factual experience they endured during the crisis itself?

        You go on assuming what someone tells you happened in the past, was what *did* happen, as though unquestionable fact. (Bad assumption. Human psychology is more complex than that.)

        (Don’t believe me? Then put to a test! … Go deliver some “care notes” only, without accompanying socks. Then go visit the same person a few days later, and see how much the person reports the care note “helped” him/her.)

        Some would call that “science”. I call it: “stop making dim-witted assumptions whose virtue is making you feel better for believing them”. Hello.

        • Jane
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          No, it’s not absurd. I really don’t understand why you would take the time to negatively criticize Jason for an incredible effort. I’m not saying that experiencing 9-11 as a New Yorker is comparable to the devastation in the tsunami zone, but you’d be surprised at the tiny details and kindness I remember clearly.

  271. Gabe
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    FAQ: what makes you uniquely qualified to deliver socks to those who need them? Why would one spend an inordinate amount of shipping costs compared to the price of the socks being sent to you? Are you sure the post office can still deliver packages to your location at this time?

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Our location is perfect for this: we can get to the disaster zone, but we can still receive mail. Yes, we checked with the post office before setting this up. They were confident that they could handle the volume, and city volunteers are gathering the dollies, trucks, and community space that we’ll need to sort, translate, and distribute.

      I’m not sure what more “qualification” one need have to help in an emergency. Nobody asked for a role in this. We’re all doing our best.

  272. Roberta Kilstrom
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you for setting this up. It has been an awful feeling of helplessness watching the photos and video and then hearing about one crisis after another. Folding a thousand paper cranes is not nearly so directly helpful! Many thanks.

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